The International Association of Transportation Regulators (IATR) has announced that it has rescheduled its 34th annual conference—which was expected to take place this September in Memphis—to December 13-17. Due to its global membership and the various stages of reopening in the travel sphere (with many restrictions still in place), the conference of worldwide transportation regulators will again be virtual for 2021. The decision was based on a member survey.
“On behalf of the IATR, I would like to thank our loyal and supportive members, sponsors and friends for their patience, understanding and commitment over the past year and a half, as we all navigated difficult regulatory terrain to help people in need during the pandemic. … We apologize for the delay in making these decisions, but as things started to change dramatically at the outset of the spring, we thought it would be prudent to wait and see how travel restrictions might evolve, with the hope of fulfilling our commitment to the hotel and to our IATR members who registered. We simply could not have moved forward with an in-person conference this year economically, due to the minimum contract attendance requirements; in addition, while we explored holding a hybrid in-person/virtual conference as well, we concluded that it would neither be feasible nor fair to our sponsors in terms of realizing a reasonable return on their investment,” read the announcement.
The theme chosen for this year’s conference is Regulatory Reboot!, reflecting on the past year of the pandemic and the renewed excitement around the globe among transportation regulators to pivot with the times and set a course for advancement and innovation within the changing mobility world. COVID lockdowns challenged even the most prepared systems, and the multi-modal trend that was already happening is accelerating.
IATR has also released its preliminary schedule of events, which includes many returning favorites. You can read more about them here.
5th Annual Regulator Bootcamp: The basic regulatory training for beginners will address several hot topics including urban air mobility (think: flying taxis), an electric vehicle primer, and regulation and optimization of food & package delivery services.
- Is Carmageddon Coming & Are Regulators Prepared?: With the re-opening of businesses, ongoing fear of using mass transit, and the return of drivers, congestion on the roadways is back. This panel will compare and contrast lessons learned from other countries, and conduct a comparative analysis with what is happening post-pandemic in the US.
- Industry Perspectives on Disruptive Technologies and Service Models Shaping the Transport Sector (Sponsored by the World Road Association): This unique industry roundtable discussion is an outgrowth of the IATR’s partnership with the World Road Association (PIARC). PIARC aims to foster and facilitate global discussion, knowledge sharing and dissemination of best practices on road and transport policies and procedures on everything from Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) to electric vehicles to micro-transit, which will be addressed in this session.
- Shared-Connected & Autonomous Electric Vehicle (S-CAEV) Implementation—Proposed Guiding Principles & Model Regulations (International Hearing): Building on the work that began at IATR’s 2019 conference on this project, this session will include a presentation on the proposed guiding principles for regulators seeking to implement and/or experiment with Robotaxis or S-CAEVS. Going beyond the various testing laws and issues, this project is focusing on the socio-economic and regulatory issues that need to be navigated for full implementation in the for-hire sector of S-CAEVS.
- Pandemic Regulatory Reboot—Lessons Learned—What Policies Will Stay & What Will Go? (Regulator Star Trek 4.0): For the 4th straight year, the IATR will continue and expand upon its popular spotlight session for new and emerging regulatory talent, where mobility regulators will focus on initiatives in their jurisdictions, or a potpourri of issues each regulator is tackling, and new initiatives and perspectives to share with the regulatory community.
- Driver Compensation—New Labor Models For Transportation Workers: In the aftermath of California’s passage of Prop 22, and the continued existence of AB5, compelling many drivers for taxi and limousine companies to become employees, this panel will explore where we go after all of the enhanced unemployment runs out and drivers return to work in fall 2021.
IATR’s 6th Hack-a-Thon: IATR, City University of New York’s University Transportation Research Center at the City College of NY (UTRC), and the University of California at Berkeley have partnered to organize yet another hack-a-thon competition with partner universities and other private industry stakeholders using available public data. This year’s theme, Transportation Equity—including safe, reliable and affordable service to underserved communities—has now become a top priority for not just many cities, but for the federal government in the US and worldwide.
The tentative conference program can be accessed here. IATR also has a limited number of sponsorships still available, which can be found here. Registration is now open for regulators and associate (industry) members at iatr2021.heysummit.com.
Looking ahead, IATR expects that the 2022 conference will be held in person at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis and is scheduled for September 22-25, 2022.
Visit iatr.global for more information.