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Florida Sen. Jeff Brandes kicked off the 2018 Florida Autonomous Vehicle Summit in Tampa and will do so again this year. Photo Courtesy THEA


2019 Florida Automated Vehicle Summit continues today in Miami

Sen. Jeff Brandes will again kick off the summit.

The 2019 Florida Automated Vehicle Summit began Wednesday and will continue through Friday in Miami.

The summit assembles industry leaders from around the world to address technology, operations and policies that affect emerging autonomous vehicle infrastructure.

This year’s event includes topics including vehicle electrification, autonomous trucking and discussions with autonomous vehicle technology leaders Ford Autonomous, Voyage, Starsky Robotics and Luminar Technologies.

Sen. Jeff Brandes, a statewide leader in advocating for pro-autonomous vehicle legislation, is delivering the summit’s opening remarks Thursday at 8:30 a.m.

Brandes has emerged as a champion in recent years for new mobility solutions as a way to bring transportation into the 21st Century. Solutions range from shared autonomous vehicles that can maximize efficiency by serving as a form of private or public transportation, autonomous transit vehicles and micro-mobility transportation like bike share or electric scooters.

The first day of panel sessions includes a panel on smart infrastructure needed to usher in a new era of autonomous vehicle technology, how to leverage autonomous vehicle technology to move both people and goods, how to effectively deploy self-driving vehicles and automation that can improve public transportation.

Other sessions include panels evaluating whether Florida is successfully leading the charge for new autonomous vehicle technology and how to establish a logical platform to create safe and successful driverless solutions.

Other topics include shared mobility and current research and testing activities.

Thursday’s discussions will also include regulatory needs with insight from Florida Highway Patrol Chief of Commercial Vehicles Derek Barrs, Tech Freedom Vice President of Policy Ian Adams and Florida Department of Transportation Assistant Secretary of Strategic Development Tom Byron.

Friday’s discussions include further information about using electric vehicles, automation in the trucking industry and talks from student entrepreneurs and inventors who are bringing young people into the conversation.

The summit also includes several interactive demonstrations on autonomous vehicle technology and other new affiliated technologies including vehicles and the technology used to power and navigate them.

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as senior reporter for WMNF News. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at

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