(WJBK) - More than a thousand people from across the world are in Detroit plotting the future of driverless car technology, and we're learning the first autonomous shuttle bus will be driving through downtown before you know it.
It is the Intelligent Transportation Society of America’s annual meeting at Cobo Center. ITS chose Detroit to show the latest in autonomous and connected technology.
Bosch is showing its stuff, showing how with cameras it can put eyes and ears all over any American city.
“We are taking a bunch of devices that you put up in cities and you connect these devices,” said Frank Sgambati, or Bosch. “And you make those smart. And you can do things like improve parking situations or improve traffic flow.”
In addition to two connected car conferences happening in the D, a group of French executives are also coming to team up with the men and women behind the technology.
The University of Michigan is showing off a driverless shuttle that is already on use on campus. Carrie Morton says Michigan is a driving force in this trend.
"Michigan has been and always will stay in front of the auto industry and all of the emerging trends and we are very excited to be at Ground Zero for transforming the way we move people right here in the state of Michigan," said Carrie Morton with MCity at U-M.
"They're so excited to be here in Detroit, obviously the home of automotive and now we are taking it into the next phase but connected and I thought of this vehicle is at to be here with her so much history related thought about it and not to be talking with the future it's a great time," said Rebecca Hunter, Intelligent Transportation Society of America.
In addition to the big conference at Cobo, Detroit Regional Chamber is inviting a contingency from France, a country that's diving into dozens of projects dealing with mobility and connected cars. A group from that country called Business France is coming to the D to connect with experts in connected cars.
"What they do every year is they have a national competition for the best connected autonomous technology. A panel of judges pick and then they come to the US for two weeks. they visit Detroit and the Silicon Valley. Those are the only two places they go," said Justin Robinson of the Detroit Regional Chamber.
Detroit is about to see its first driverless shuttle. Bedrock is putting its weight behind it and it's expected to come within 12 months. Detroit is driving the autonomous conversation into high gear.
"What's really important is to have a smart city to go with the Smart cars. The city of Detroit is taking a leadership position and they have recruited a chief mobility operations officer to help partner with industry to solve real problems around the physical infrastructure and how to get people to their jobs, to a doctor’s appointment and things of that nature,” Robinson said.
That is one convention, there is another at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi also dealing with autonomous vehicles.