Starting this week, all eyes are on Austin, Texas for South by Southwest (SXSW), an annual culmination of interactive conferences, festivals, exhibitions and networking around topics such as branding and marketing, social impact, health care, journalism, culture and next-generation technology. SXSW prides itself for fostering creative and professional growth as the premiere destination for discovery.
The events, which run from Friday, March 9 to Sunday, March 18, are an unparalleled convergence of industries in which mobility becomes a reoccurring theme.
“When looking at our future, so much of it revolves around advancing how people, goods and services will move. This, by the very definition, is mobility,” said Justin Robinson, vice president of business attraction for the Detroit Regional Chamber. “The Chamber has been actively travelling the world exploring which conferences, geographic markets and companies our ecosystem needs to connect with, in order to share experiences, ideas and ultimately facilitate new partnerships to help drive forward the future of the automotive and mobility industries. We see SXSW as one of these key conferences and Austin an important geographic market with which we would like to broaden our connection and dialogue.”
Michigan’s presence will be felt at SXSW this year as stakeholders from the state’s leaders in automotive and mobility industries descend upon Austin—including automakers, suppliers, venture capitalists, industry organizations and those from the public sector—to participate in the many opportunities SXSW brings and offer expertise.
SXSW Conference Tracks
Mobility is featured in two of SXSW’s conference tracks including Intelligent Future and Startup & Tech Sectors. During more than a dozen automotive tech-related presentations and panels, speakers will speak to the future of mobility in terms of autonomous vehicles, smart cities, ridesharing, connected infrastructure, design, and even flying cars.
Kay Stepper, the head of driver assistance and automated driving for Robert Bosch LLC located in Plymouth, Mich., will participate on a panel on how autonomous cars will be controlled and by whom. The panel will discuss how suppliers, like Bosch, and technology giants are working on ways to remotely control autonomous cars in situations where cities are filled with robo-taxis, vehicles need to be diverted to prevent accidents and congestion, and even how to foil terrorist attacks that involve vehicles.
For the full SXSW schedule, visit www.schedule.sxsw.com.
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Michigan House, a pop-up space in Austin now in its third year, will play host to some official SXSW panel discussions with topics touching on mobility as well as education, water, community health, and neighborhood activism. The space will also feature additional programming related to the automotive and technology industries.
"Michigan House is a unique experiment in collaboration and creativity," states Jennifer Goulet, president and CEO of Creative Many Michigan, who spearheads Michigan House. "We cover a broad spectrum in a short time. The deep connections we form in Austin carry back to Michigan and the transformative work being done by talented, creative leaders across the state."
On Saturday, March 10 Michigan House will host a "Making the Future of Mobility" panel featuring Jessica Robinson, director of city solutions for Ford Motor Company; Alisyn Malek, chief operating officer and co-founder of May Mobility; Garry Bulluck, deputy chief mobility innovation for City of Detroit; and Dana Lowell, global director of technology, scouting and ventures at Faurecia. Immediately following the Detroit Regional Chamber, Ann Arbor SPARK, PlanetM and Faurecia are hosting a Michigan Mobility Mixer at Michigan House.
On Monday, March 12 Michigan-based startup companies will descend upon Michigan House for a panel discussion on scaling mobility startups in metro Detroit. This panel will feature unique instances of how companies have scaled effectively, like Duo Security, based in Ann Arbor, May Mobility, a graduate of Y Combinator that is piloting autonomous vehicles in Detroit, and large company spin outs like General Motors’ Maven, which provides ridesharing services in metro areas around the world.
To cap it off, Michigan House will invite alumni from the University of Michigan and Michigan State University to an event highlighting the vitality and opportunity that currently exists within Michigan.
For more information on Michigan House and the events, visit www.MichiganHouse.org.