2015 SC AUTOMOTIVE SUMMIT: The Road To Global Innovation Begins at ITIC

By Charles Richardson

It’s more than a new year in South Carolina. It’s a new era in automotive research and technology, and it’s propelling global innovation into exciting new frontiers. This journey, this “new road”—which has been laid strategically in the Upstate of Greenville, with avenues, routes, and expressways that stretch outward to every corner of the globe—begins at South Carolina’s International Transportation Innovation Center (ITIC): a dynamic research-centric test-bed infrastructure located at the South Carolina Technology & Aviation Center (SCTAC).

“The International Transportation Innovation Center (ITIC) is a leading-edge research facility geared toward transportation innovations and provides a comprehensive research and development testing infrastructure.”

– Bobby Hitt, SC Department of Commerce

SC Automotive Summit: A Green Light for Transportation Innovation

Though many in the industry aren’t aware, ITIC is at the forefront of an automotive revolution. This is a far cry from Greenville’s early distinction as the Textile Capital of the World—even further from the days of old, red-clay roads that bore Drovers in rickety Conestoga wagons. Today, the dirt roads have been replaced by precision test tracks; and covered wagons have given way to ultra high-performance, state-of-the-art automobiles. This February, international researchers, engineers, and Tier 1 & Tier 2 suppliers, will be on hand as ITIC ushers in the future of transportation and networked vehicle communication during the 4th Annual South Carolina Automotive Summit in Greenville, SC.

ITIC Ride & Drive: February 23, 2015

To kick-off this week-long SC Automotive Summit, ITIC will be presenting its exclusive Master Plan for 2015 and beyond. Prepared by ITIC and Tilke GmbH engineers, the new plan calls for a strategic expansion of the automotive test bed that already features: 1) a 5,500 x 300-foot controlled asphalt straightaway, 2) a 1.5 mile concrete surface straightaway, 3) an adjacent six-block urban track with buildings and side streets to simulate city driving, 4) 17.7 miles of multi-lane underpass/overpass interstate, including a 2-mile stretch that can be closed for secure, controlled testing. No other such facility currently exists in North America which makes ITIC’s relevance critical on both a national and global scale. According to ITIC John Hopkins:

“We have a select group of industry influencers who can experience ITIC firsthand. The test bed expansion is being designed as the largest and most comprehensive transportation innovation center in the U.S. We are thrilled to present this master plan to the world, as well as give our guests a sample of what we already offer now with our ride & drive event held at the ITIC test track.”

The marriage of innovative research and advanced engineering

The SC Automotive Summit will enable executives and industry influencers to hear and consider information on top automotive initiatives, developments, and innovative trends. This unique event will bring together the brightest minds in the industry, including engineers, economic development officials, education and research professionals, and true visionaries in the world of transportation innovation. More than just an industry summit, this event also represents the inaugural introduction of South Carolina’s Automotive Week, designed to tout global innovation and technology throughout the state. CU-ICAR Professor & Program Director, Dr. Joachim G. Taiber says:

“The ride and drive event is very exciting for us on many levels. Primarily, we want to showcase that we have a dynamic research-centered ‘living lab’ in conjunction with a controlled test-bed infrastructure already in place. We have developed and, in fact, are expanding, the physical research and test area which can be used broadly by the transportation ecosystem to try out the most innovative technologies—including the electrification of the power train, vehicle connectivity, as well as automated driving.”

VISIT ITIC – FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL

To learn more about ITIC, and to get the latest industry news and updates on transportation innovation, visit ITIC-SC.COM and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

FAST FACTS: South Carolina’s Automotive Industry is Excelling:

• $27.1 billion annual economic impact
• 33 in Automotive Manufacturing Strength
• $12.1 Billion in Capital Investments Announced Since 2001
• 46,000 South Carolinians Employed by the industry
• 250+ Automotive Manufacturing Companies

ITIC-SC.COM  •  SCAutomotiveCouncil.com

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