Having recently joined the MoboTrex Team, I was excited to attend the much anticipated annual Davenport Users’ Group Meeting for MoboTrex Midwest held December 13-14. MoboTrex provides several of these user groups throughout the year to represent each of our key geographical regions, The annual user group is an excellent opportunity for our customers and line card partners to network, innovate, and collaborate.
In addition to providing an exciting venue for leading traffic industry manufacturers to share details regarding their innovative technology, the user group also provide requisite time and space for valuable 1:1 sessions with customers and prospects to explore these tools in greater detail. The intimate trade show environment provides customers the opportunity to see, touch, and demo many of these leading edge products. As if the this wasn’t enough, these meetings also provide our partners the ability to complete their continuing education credits by providing professional development hours (PDH’s) and IMSA renewal hours, as well as technical advancement recognition program (TARP) points for IMSA members.
In addition to learning, there are also great opportunities for fun and socializing. MoboTrex hosted a Wednesday evening social event that included a tour of our facility as well as a relaxed environment to enjoy food and cocktails while reconnecting with many long term industry friends while also making new connections.
The informative sessions included many traffic industry updates on exciting innovations including an introduction into the world of Vision Zero and Complete Streets as presented by Aaron Lockwood of Carmanah Technologies Corp. It also included presentations by Dave Miller and Jais Jose into Siemen’s future vision into the world of connected vehicles and event based adaptive technologies. The team provided exciting updates on their pilot projects being deployed in Tampa, the Dallas/Austin corridor, and throughout Michigan.
Other exciting presentations by our partners included the following:
- Temple Edge and Dialight: LED Case Studies and the LED Value Proposition
- ZincFive, Inc.: Case Studies on Nickle-Zinc Technology at work and its contribution to green and clean technology
- Advantech B&B Smartworx: Enabling Connected Intelligence and the Industrial Internet of Things to come
- MS Sedco’s innovations in wrong way and bike detection technologies
- Tomar’s introduction into its new Envelope of Safety Strategy
- As well as exciting new product innovations and introductions from Iteris, Polara, Pelco, Eberle, Comptrol, Component Products, Inc., Frey, and CohuHD Costar.
The City of St. Louis team including Jamie Wilson, Mike Bertolini, and Mike Dolde, also provided an informative case study and project review of the city’s traffic management enhancements deployed in its three phase ITS investment. This project began in 2012 and included a convergence of technology on the area’s traffic maps, transit maps, and pedestrian maps, to design and deploy the most efficient flow of human and vehicle traffic throughout the city’s expansive sixty-two square miles of traffic management. The goal of the project was to optimize the city’s congestion mitigation and air quality (CMAQ) objectives while minimizing its overall investment in time and capital. In addition to reviewing the value of the projects, the team offered valuable insight into selling and implementing these types of projects within a city’s inherent human and financial capital constraints.
MoboTrex’s own Dealer Development Manager, Brent Katauskas, provided an exciting introduction to the Next Level Eagle ATC cabinets being deployed by MoboTrex. These cabinets were available for review on the trade show floor along with other Eagle cabinets and new product innovations including the new NG-2014 electronic cabinet lock Brent reviewed in his WYDOT blog earlier this fall. Brent also introduced the crowd to an exciting new real-time audience participation polling software, Poll Everywhere, where the audience assured Brent that they were in fact, intrigued with his session and not taking a restful 45 minute snooze as often happens with the first presenter of the morning.
Beyond the world of traffic innovation, the group was also entertained by Steve Grubbs, CEO of Victory Enterprises, and his view into the rapidly expanding technological innovations of virtual reality. VR promises immersive learning opportunities in the fields of education and learning. According to Steve, research shows a 60% improvement in knowledge retention with VR learning over traditional methods.
The lunchtime keynote included a real-time adventure on the Mars Rover Landing as demonstrated live by our own IT Smart City Engineer, Dan Elder. In this brief demo, Dan showed us just how small the universe really is!
Being new to the traffic industry, the partner sessions were invaluable learning opportunities for me to expand my working knowledge of the lifesaving and mission critical products and services our industry provides to keep us all safe. Many of the partners I spoke with said that while some of the material was review, they were truly excited about the many new innovations presented during the user group sessions.
While I certainly appreciated the educational opportunities of the user group, meeting and spending time with all of the attendees; customers, prospects and suppliers, who are so important to our business, was certainly the highlight of this event. I look forward to seeing those same faces in the years to come. If learning, networking and building relationships was the goal of the session, I would say the show was a major success!
Thank you to the many contributors. Special thanks also to Jeff McAleer, VP of Distribution, our MC and host, and Joan Kasten, our Sales and Marketing Coordinator who really is instrumental in putting on these great user groups. I’m already looking forward to next year’s event!
Staci Lange, COO