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Commentary: The Heart of Transportation Innovation

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Eleventh Annual Tarrant Transportation Summit

Friday, February 14

8 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Keynote speaker: Rasheq Zarif, Managing Director & Future of Mobility Tech Sector, Deloitte

Hurst Conference Center, 1600 Campus Drive, 76054

We continue to grow the scope and scale of our annual transportation event, so we elevated the name to become the Tarrant Transportation Summit because it has become more regional in nature. This year’s theme is “The Heart of Transportation Innovation.”

On Feb. 14, we will mark the 11th anniversary of what began as the Northeast Tarrant Transportation Summit, an event that took place as a breakfast following the Feb. 17, 2010, groundbreaking of what became the DFW Connector.

We’ve come quite a long way in this past decade, with a constant focus on mobility that has moved from solely roads into technology for roads, rail and aviation. This 2020 conference will provide attendees with a comprehensive overview of the near-term and long-term futures that relate to an array of transportation options.

This year’s keynote speaker will be Rasheq Zarif, a highly in-demand futurist who speaks across the globe. Rasheq serves as Managing Director & Future of Mobility Tech Sector Leader for Deloitte.

Each year, close to 600 guests and sponsors have joined us to learn about the latest in mobility updates and I continue to receive calls thanking our team for creating this forum. Our community members appreciate being kept up to date.

That first year’s event, held at the Grapevine Convention Center, showcased scope-of-project planning construction maps along much of the room’s wall space and the immediate focus was on the DFW Connector and the North Tarrant Express (Airport Freeway).

We moved the Northeast Tarrant Transportation Summit to the Hurst Conference Center the following year and the summit addressed the region’s major projects: The DFW Connector, North Tarrant Express, I-35W, Loop 820, State Highways 360 and 114/121, the Chisholm Trail Parkway and many more.

Our recent topics have included Smart Cities, Autonomous Vehicles, the Impact of Artificial Intelligence in Driving, Uber Elevate, Virgin Hyperloop One, Light Rail, High-Speed Rail, First-Mile/Last-Mile transportation and even drones.

We have improved the access to faster drives with a larger number of lanes, including one sector of the DFW Connector offering 24 total lanes, as we help make the Tarrant County area more drivable, even in peak times of day.

Shorter drive times to and from work, as well as for company deliveries and travel to and from recreation, have increased efficiency and time for us to do what we enjoy doing.

The results have included more new jobs, both in the construction industry and in the Tarrant County area due to continued growth, the expansion of existing employers, the arrival of new job creators, plus an enhanced quality of life.

Our purpose remains to enhance knowledge and the innovative spirit of companies and leaders within the transportation field and to provide timely resources for business leaders wanting to plan for the future.

Speakers will address:

• 5G’s Role in Transforming Transportation Technology: Representatives from AT&T’s innovation team will share how this lightning-speed advancement can deliver higher capacity and reliability with low latency. The result will offer greater access with vehicle-to-vehicle communications (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) that helps vehicles communicate with sensors on bridges, roads and traffic controls, and autonomous vehicles.

• The Future of P3s in Texas: Our presenter will provide insights on how public-private partnerships (P3s) are delivering critical infrastructure across the nation and the world and will share the latest tools and formats of addressing our regional infrastructure challenges.

• Next Stop – How Transportation Technology is Revolutionizing Transit: Technology advocates will share that latest impact on how Artificial Intelligence (AI), Smart Cities and 5G are collaborating to change what we will see in the lanes next to us, in the skies above us and in the rails beside us.

• Alliance Texas Mobility Innovation Zone: How the North Texas region could become home to the largest transportation technology proving ground by leveraging the assets of available land combined with the intermodal hub offering aviation, roads and rail at Alliance. The ability to design future modes of moving people and freight by each of these methods can even further elevate the options for future mobility. This concept is not merely a point of hopeful discussion, but is, rather, actually in motion at this very time.

We are honored that one of the world’s most brilliant futurists – Deloitte’s Rasheq Zarif, an internationally-acclaimed authority on futurism and its impact on mobility – will be our keynote speaker at the luncheon. Deloitte is a recognized leader in the consulting world, representing well over half the Fortune 500 companies based in the United States.

Rasheq and members of his executive team attended the World Economic Summit in Davos two weeks ago. He will address the current transformation of the transportation segment and the opportunities our region can leverage to become the undisputed global leader in the mobility space.

In this five-hour summit, you will be astounded at the progress being made and the transit options you and your loved ones will enjoy in the not-so-distant-future. You will also be impressed at the role that North Texas is playing in the next generations of transportation.

Please join us for the 11th Annual Tarrant Transportation Summit – The Heart of Transportation Innovation.

Gary Fickes is the commissioner for Tarrant County Precinct 3.

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