SXSW Interactive spotlights solutions to Austin’s treacherous traffic

Evening traffic on Austin highways.
Evening traffic on Austin highways.

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The South by Southwest interactive festival is putting the spotlight on finding solutions to the traffic Austin drivers face everyday.

The week-long festival kicks off on Friday and attendees will immediately find themselves trapped in Austin’s mobility issues trying to navigate SXSW. With a spike in the number of visitors to Austin, one group is focusing on the way you get around and how technology is changing your commute.

The C3 Group, an automotive industry watch group says the future of traffic affects everyone — especially in a growing city like Austin. This weekend, C3 is sponsoring a showcase to talk about how technology is bringing widespread changes to the way you travel.

The exhibit is called the C3 Smart Mobility Showcase. It is drawing top executives and engineers from Ford, Hyundai and Samsung. They will look at road solutions like self-driving cars, and how they can alleviated the stress of commuting.

Connected cars are also the focus of the exhibit, which are vehicles that can talk to each other over the internet. These vehicles can help drivers avoid accidents and emergency workers get to traffic scenes faster. This technology can change the way booming cities, like Austin, can solve their traffic problems like congestion and close the affordability gap for drivers.

The president of C3, Doug Newcomb, says his group decided to host this showcase during the festival because of the number of people they can reach with this technology. Newcomb says with the city’s traffic issues, Austin can be a “petri dish” for some of these new ideas.

“Austin is a really great experiment in many ways for some of these new mobility ideas because Austin is growing,” said C3 President Doug Newcomb. “So, like a lot of other cities – Autstin has to figure this out. They can’t really build their way out of this problem. In the sense of building more roads.”

Newcomb says he’s also invited Mayor Steve Adler to the event. The mayor has accepted that invitation. The C3 mobility showcase is Saturday at the Empire Garage.

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