"Connected and Autonomous Vehicles 101"   Education for Louisiana Counties, Small Towns and Satellite Cities

                August 22, 2019


  8:30 am - 4:30 pm 

Clarion Inn Conference Center

1500 W Highway 30

Gonzales, LA 70737



 A 2017 INRIX Autonomous Vehicle study rated New Orleans as the number one most suitable city in the United States for autonomous technologies in the near future. From self-driving buses in New Orleans to Port NOLA operations and truck platooning along the I10 corridor or autonomous transit vehicles in Baton Rouge, southern Louisiana has the potential to become one of the nation's leading innovation centers for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAV)s.


That’s why the State of Louisiana’s Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) has commissioned the consultancy Arcadis to provide a study on how best to prepare Louisiana for Connected and Autonomous economy of the future.


Join your municipal colleagues and national and local experts at a full-day "Connected and Autonomous Vehicle 101" seminar at the Clarion Inn Conference Center in Gonzales (mid-way between Baton Rouge and New Orleans) to explore the key aspects of the Autonomous Vehicle Economy and the infrastructure and policy changes that satellite cities, small towns and rural communities in southern Louisiana and the New Orleans - Baton Rouge - Lafayette I10 corridor will need to consider in order to take advantage of coming electrification and self-driving technologies. 



Akhil Chauhan is the National Director, Smart Mobility and

CAV, for Arcadis North America. In this role, he leads Arcadis’ multi-disciplinary efforts and leverages national and global resources and experience to bring together technical knowledge and technologies to deliver innovative yet practical solutions to our clients’ smart mobility and CAV challenges. Akhil is a graduate of MIT and has more than 16 years of national experience working with different clients, and this experience provides him a broad understanding of how best practices and lessons learned can be applied to the transportation challenges of the 21st century. Akhil is the program manager for LADOTD’s CAV and ITS System Design On-Call Services contract where his team is providing technical support services and facilitating planning activities related to CAV and its impact on highway infrastructure for the department’s CAV technology team.  

Dale Neef, the host of the CAV 101 Education Seminar, is an author and strategic technology consultant who advises organizations and communities on "Smart Cities" and autonomous vehicle infrastructure, municipal broadband, and other digital economy issues. A specialist in transportation and supply chain technologies, Dale has been a technical consultant for the Asian Development Bank, has worked for IBM and Computer Sciences Corporation, and was a fellow at Ernst & Young’s Center for Business Innovation. A veteran facilitator, he has conducted executive planning workshops with corporate and municipal teams in more than sixty organizations worldwide, and has taught at a variety of institutions, including Cornell University and at the International School of Management in Paris. A frequent contributor to journals, and a regular speaker at technology conferences, Dale earned his masters and his doctorate from Cambridge University, was a research fellow at Harvard, and has written or edited eight books on the economics of knowledge and data management and the role of technology in economic development and society. He is a member of the American Planning Association and the International City/County Management Association.

Bethany Stich is the Department Chair of Planning and Urban Studies and the Director of the Transportation Institute (UNOTI) at the University of New Orleans. Dr. Stich has served as the Principal Investigator of UNOTI’s two University Transportation Centers, the Maritime Transportation Research & Education Center housed at the University of Arkansas and the National Center for Strategic Transportation Policies, Investments and Decisions housed at the University of Maryland. Additionally, Stich serves as the Principal Investigator for the Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence for Maritime Resiliency housed at Louisiana State University. Stich serves on the Transportation Research Board’s Intermodal Freight Committee as the Subcommittee Chair and on the Executive Committee for the Committee on the Logistics of Disaster Relief and Business Continuity. Dr. Stich has published and presented globally on issues associated with intermodal transportation as it relates to economic, business and workforce development. Her research ranges from work on Cuban trade to E-Navigation integration, Container on Barge supply chain integration to Liquefied Natural Gas development and has been funded by organizations such as the U.S. Department of Transportation, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Economic Development Administration.

Chester Wilmot, Professor of Civil Engineering Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Louisiana State University

emigrated from South Africa to the United States in 1993. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Pretoria University, a Master’s degree in transportation engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Ph.D. in transportation engineering from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. He is a Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Louisiana State University and a registered Professional Engineer in the state of Louisiana. He has 59 years experience in civil engineering, 49 of which are in the field of transportation engineering. He has worked in the public sector as a researcher and academic, and in the private sector as a consultant. His experience includes Transportation Planning, Traffic Engineering, Travel Surveys, Hurricane Evacuation Demand Modeling, and Road Safety. He has provided technical assistance to the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development on more than 20 different topics over the last 26 years and has conducted numerous research projects for the Louisiana Transportation Research Center and other research agencies. One of the recent requests for technical assistance from the state involved an assessment of legislative action needed to accommodate the future safe operation of autonomous vehicles in Louisiana.

The Day's Program


8:30 – 9:30 Welcome and Module 1: "Disruptive Economic and Transportation Trends of Our Times" (Dale Neef, Economics and Innovation Analyst and President of DNA Data Solutions)


9:30 – 10:30  Module 2: "The Changing Nature of Transportation: Connected, Autonomous and Electric" (Dale Neef)


10:30 - 10:45 Coffee Break


10:45 – 11:45  Module 3: "AV Technologies and the Policy and Infrastructure Implications of the Shift to the Connected and Autonomous Vehicle Economy,"  (Dale Neef)


11:45 – 1:00   Lunch and Lunchtime Talk (Bethany Stich, Department Chair of Planning and Urban Studies and the Director of the Transportation Institute (UNOTI) at the University of New Orleans)


1:00 – 2:00  Module 4: "LADOTD’s CAV Strategic Study for the State of Louisiana," (Akhil Chauhan, National Director, Smart Mobility and CAV, for Arcadis North America)


2:00 – 2:15  Afternoon Coffee Break


2:15 – 3:00 Module 5: “Autonomous Vehicles: a Look Into the Past, a Look Into the Future," (Chester Wilmot, Professor of Civil Engineering Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Louisiana State University) 


3:00 – 3:45  "Panel Discussion and Q&A" (Facilitated by Dale Neef: panelists include Akhil Chauhan, Bethanyy Stich and Chester Wilmot)


3:45 – 4:30 Module 6 and Close "What to do Next: Strategic Planning, Stakeholder Inclusion and Public Outreach" (Dale Neef)