HDR’s Ben Pierce to Speak at ‘Driverless Cars: Shaping Future Infrastructure’ in Chicago

Ben Pierce, one of HDR’s advanced transportation-technology experts, will serve as a panelist at “Driverless Cars: Shaping Future Infrastructure,” in Chicago on April 5. The Metropolitan Planning Council organized the event, the third of three in a series that aims to illuminate the impacts autonomous and connected vehicles (AV/CV) will have on our lives and the cities we live in.

In 2016, Pierce’s contributions to the Smart City Challenge application for Columbus, Ohio, helped the city secure about $140 million to implement its Smart City vision. Pierce, who serves as HDR’s transportation technology program lead, frequently speaks about “future proofing” infrastructure to prepare for tomorrow’s mobility needs. His work helps agencies evaluate existing infrastructure to plan for the eventual adoption and integration of technology into surface transportation systems.

“My focus will be on what we can do now to get started,” Pierce said. “I will talk about practical applications of AV/CV technology and about changes we can make to policies and procedures. Many agencies want to know how they can start to assess infrastructure assets already in place to prepare for emerging technology and determine viability in a future with autonomous cars.”

Other panelists include Southern Illinois University Assistant Architecture Professor Shannon Sanders McDonald and BuroHappold Engineering Associate Principal Matthew Herman. The moderator is Mary Wisniewski, transportation columnist for the Chicago Tribune.

HDR is sponsoring the event to support this ongoing conversation organized by the Metropolitan Planning Council, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to shaping a more equitable, sustainable and prosperous greater Chicago region.

“Conversations like these are critical to leveraging the power these emerging technologies have to improve mobility and thereby address social issues in Chicago and other cities,” said Janet Gonzalez, HDR’s Sustainable Transportation Director, who is based in Chicago. 

For more information and to attend, visit the MPC event page.

About HDR's Transportation Experience

Our award-winning transportation practice is known for solving our clients' most complex mobility challenges across all modes of travel. We are helping with multibillion-dollar programs ranging from managing the Council Bluffs, Iowa Interstate rehabilitation program and the San Diego Mid-Coast Corridor Transit project to designing the I-4 Ultimate P3 project in Florida and the new Governor Mario M. Cuomo  Bridge in New York. In addition to planning and engineering, our experts help clients advance projects and programs across the infrastructure life cycle with strategic funding, economic analysis, public engagement, real estate services, program/project controls, risk management and operations and maintenance.

About HDR

For more than a century, HDR has partnered with clients to shape communities and push the boundaries of what’s possible. Our expertise spans nearly 10,000 employees, in more than 200 locations around the world — and counting. Our engineering, architecture, environmental and construction services bring an impressive breadth of knowledge to every project. Our optimistic approach to finding innovative solutions defined our past and drives our future.

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