International Podcar City Conference comes to Las Vegas, USA

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Eleventh annual event focuses on automated mobility for Smart City, Smart Transit, Smart Energy
August 1, 2017

The Eleventh Annual International Podcar City Conference is set for Wednesday - Friday, November 8-10, at the City Hall of Las Vegas, NV. Podcar City will address the importance of automated mobility and on-demand operations pertaining to energy, cityscape, and livability. Participants will include city planners, transit planners, consultants, architects, engineers, investors, developers, elected officials, and academics. Podcar City is organized by the International Institute of Sustainable Transportation (INIST) of California and the Advanced Transit Association with support from the Mineta Transportation Institute, San Jose, CA.

In parallel and culminating at Podcar City, the Urban International Design Contest (UIDC) has been organized to inspire municipalities and universities to think broadly about their transportation network. The UIDC takes place from July 1 until October 16 and connects students and city professionals with the goal to educate, inspire and motivate important stakeholders in how new modes of sustainable public transportation can be utilized in an urban environment. Independent judges will score each team on their presentation which must include Automated Transit Network technology (ATN), defined as self-driving vehicles at grade and/or a separate guideway which provides transportation for the general public, a real future city/urban project in need of transportation, and a 4D simulation model. Currently the cities of Sundbyberg, Jacksonville, Las Vegas, Gävle, Washington D.C and Perth are participating.

Information about the conference and the design competition is available at:

“Podcars are similar to the driverless trains we see at airports and other facilities around the world,” said Christer Lindstrom of INIST. “But these are built as smaller cars for about six to eight passengers. Initial systems are expected to fill the need for short trips or for connections between transit modes. We expect the technology to eventually evolve into larger systems such as the recently decided 1500 vehicle/100 kilometer system in Ajman, UAE. Elevated tracks will allow them to operate without impacting street traffic and autonomous public vehicles using existing roads are already deployed at various locations all over the world. Since the last conference there has been a tremendous increase in interest and investment in these technologies.”

International speakers representing government, business, and professional organizations will come from across the U.S., France, Australia, Sweden, Italy, the UK, Mexico, China and the Netherlands.

Sessions include:

  • Industry practice from around the world on autonomous transit systems
  • Mobility planning from several cities utilizing live virtual 4D models
  • Mobility as a Service (MaaS) & Automated Transit Networks (ATN)
  • Global trends and project developments
  • Smart city discussions including digital payment, and multimodal connectivity
  • New mobility and its relationship to sustainability, energy and climate
  • Integration of sensoring and the Internet of Things (IoT)

Matthew Lesh, formerly of the U.S Department of Transportation, is pleased to assist with the organization of Podcar City. “The initiative fits perfectly within our knowledge and experience on mobility services. Over the past several years we have seen a real convergence of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), mobile technology, and automation. Ensuring that we use these technologies in a sustainable and meaningful way will have positive impacts not only on our transportation networks, but on society, providing more access, greater accessibility, and added efficiencies.”

The Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) at San Jose State University has been a longterm supporter of new, sustainable technologies that help address first and last mile challenges. “ATN’s are designed to reduce congestion, improve mobility, and mitigate negative environmental impacts. Such technology is a viable alternative in California as we prepare for the advent of high-speed rail” says Karen Philbrick, PhD, Executive Director of MTI.

Public Works Director David Bowers, City of Las Vegas; “The city is proud to host this conference as we continue to be on the cutting edge of developing safe practices that enable automated vehicle implementation, It is exciting to see these developments and technology finding a home in downtown Las Vegas in the heart of our Innovation District.”

For information and to register, go to


The International Institute of Sustainable Transportation (INIST) staff and partners have comprehensive skills and experience in the core disciplines needed to build mobility projects that dramatically improve quality of life – project management, general design, energy analysis, innovative transportation solutions, public outreach, and more. INIST does not compete with traditional consultancy studies. Rather, it provides conceptual designs in collaboration with students, professionals, and advisors. INIST establishes partnerships with top key professional organizations for best performance on all levels of a project – architects, developers, transit specialists, solar consultants, and virtual model providers.


ATRA is a diverse group of people brought together by the common realization that the transportation systems of the past can not meet the transportation needs of the future, or even the present. As non-profit corporation, ATRA’s purpose is to encourage the development and deployment of advanced transportation systems that will benefit society.


At the Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) at San Jose State University (SJSU) our mission is to increase mobility for all by improving the safety, efficiency, accessibility, and convenience of our nation's’ transportation system through research, education, workforce development and technology transfer. We help create a connected world. MTI was founded in 1991 and is funded through the US Departments of Transportation and Homeland Security, the California Department of Transportation, and public and private grants. MTI is affiliated with SJSU’s Lucas College and Graduate School of Business.


Media Contact:
Christer Lindstrom
Director, INIST

Diana Paul
City of Las Vegas


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SJSU Research Foundation   210 N. 4th Street, 4th Floor, San Jose, CA 95112    Phone: 408-924-7560   Email: