SXSW in Austin, Texas started out more than 30 years ago as a music conference. But over the past decade the event has evolved into one of the largest technology events in the world, a place to spot future trends (Twitter was launched there in 2007) and to network at the official SXSW venues as well as scores of “houses” set up by entities ranging from Facebook to France.
While SXSW is still a must-attend event for the music industry, the Interactive portion of the event, which kicks off on March 10, has become as essential as CES in the tech world. But whereas CES is more product oriented, SXSW focuses on the ideas driving technological innovation. And with technology playing a greater role in transportation, SXSW has added more mobility programming over the last few years.
SXSW 2017 has an impressive collection of sessions and speakers on the topic. And given its challenges with growth and traffic, Austin is the ideal setting to explore how mobility solutions can help cities reduce congestion and improve quality of life for residents.
This year’s SXSW features some of the auto industry’s biggest names as part of the event’s Intelligent Future track. These include a Conversation on Smart Mobility with Bill Ford (and yours truly), and Mercedes-Benz CEO Dieter Zetsche appearing in a session titled Future of Autonomous Driving: Master the Map.
SXSW will include a wide range of experts on self-driving cars. Autonomous technology enfant terrible and comma.ai CEO George Hotz will speak on The Real Future of Self Driving Cars, while former U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx will be part of a session titled Beyond Driverless Cars: Our Transportation Future.
Jamie Boone, director of Government Affairs for the Consumer Technology Association, will cover privacy and policy issues in a panel called The Rise of Self-Driving and Connected Cars, and Padmasree Warrior, CEO of the electric car startup NIO, will deliver a solo presentation titled Uncovering Autonomy’s Blind Spot.
Following the presidential election last year, SXSW added a new program track titled Tech Under Trump. In the panel How Will Trump Steer Car and Transportation Tech?, auto and tech industry veterans will discuss how the new administration and Republican-controlled congress could affect policy decisions on self-driving cars, e-mobility and transportation infrastructure.
Originally published by Forbes.com