¡Gracias y hasta pronto!
My two-year term as VTS President will soon be over. It has been a fantastic experience, and I am very proud of having served the VTS society and its members. I have been privileged to work with an outstanding team of volunteers (Board of Governors, officers, conference organizers, editors, authors, etc), and I would like to publicly thank them all for their great work and continuous support. Volunteers are truly the engine of a technical society like VTS.
It has been a busy term, but we have made good progress thanks to the collective effort of the VTS volunteers and the continuous support of our members. Our publications and conferences are continuing their positive trend. Our publications have experienced this year a remarkable increase in their impact factor thanks to the tireless work of our editors. VTC continues to be a reference event for the wireless and connected vehicles communities, and the efforts of our conference team to increase the participation and involvement of industry is producing positive results. The engagement of the VPP committee and community has been fantastic, and VPPC is now a key event in electric vehicles, and vehicle power and propulsion technologies.
In 2016, we launched a new service to our members, the VTS Resource Center (http://resourcecenter.vts.ieee.org), a multimedia online library where all VTS members can access free of charge educational videos and keynotes/panel presentations from our conferences. We regularly inform you of the newly uploaded videos through this e-newsletter.
We finished 2016 with a 1.7% year-over-year increase of members, and 2017 is going to be even better. Taking the September 2017 data (latest available from IEEE), our membership increased year-over-year by 3.5%. This is very positive if we take into account that IEEE society membership decreased by 0.4% and 1.5% in 2016 and 2017 respectively (IEEE membership increased by 0.5% in 2016 and decreased by 1.4% in 2017). Our members have also increased their engagement and the number of local activities. Over the last 2 years, we have increased the number of VTS chapters from 44 to 51 (i.e. a 16% increase), and I am very happy that the 50th VTS chapter is the Spain chapter, and the 51st the Colombia one. Having a chapter in your area is not only important to network with your local colleagues, but it will also give you access to our outstanding Distinguished Lecturers program. This year we also approved an initiative to invest society reserves into activities developed and led by VTS chapters during 2018. Most of the actions proposed by chapters (and approved by the BoG) are related to co-funding winter or summer schools (we started supporting summer schools in 2016), but the floor is certainly open to new ideas and initiatives. An example is online competitions. Under the leadership of our VP Motor Vehicles, VTS organized for the first time in 2017 a very successful online competition, the VTS Motor Vehicles Challenge (www.motorvehicleschallenge.org). We had a fantastic response from the community in our first edition, and the second one (2018) promises to be even better. Check the website for the conditions to participate. You need to register your team by February 2018.
I am also very happy to inform you that our actions to promote and recognize young professionals and students are advancing firmly. The IEEE Board of Directors approved at the last IEEE Technical Activities Board (TAB) meeting in Phoenix this November the creation of the IEEE Vehicular Technology Society Early Career Award, and a significant donation from VTS 2016 surplus to the IEEE Foundation in order to be able to re-initiate the VTS student fellowships that have been inactive for quite some time. Now that all administrative processes have been approved, we will start working in order to be able to grant these award and fellowships this coming fall 2018. These new recognitions are important since they can make a difference in the future career of our students and young professionals. We also approved at our last Board of Governors meeting a program to improve our recognition to the contributions and efforts of the VTS volunteers. We are already implementing it so some of you might hear again from us!
Last but not least, VTS wants to satisfy the needs of industry, and we have partnered with the IEEE Communications Society to create our first industry workshop/summit. The ‘IEEE Connected and Automated Vehicles Summit, a 5G-driven event’ will take place in Santa Clara on the 8th of February 2018, and we are building a very exciting program. Confirmed speakers include the Executive Technical Director of Ford’s Research and Innovation Center, the Assistant Vice President for AT&T Business Solutions – Internet of Things (IoT), the Principal Scientist-Design Anthropologist at Nissan Research Center – Silicon Valley, the CEO of Veniam, the Director of Autonomous Transportation Ecosystems at Analog Devices, the Director of Research at RFNav, and the CIO & Digital Operations Executive of NIO, to name a few. We will announce the website very soon, and we hope to see you all at this exciting event in Santa Clara!
In summary, two very exciting and interesting years that I hope have met your expectations and served your needs. I cannot finish without thanking once more all my team and all VTS volunteers for their fantastic work, and you, our members, for your continuous support. I am sure the incoming team will do a superb job for our members, and will keep increasing the value of your membership. ¡Gracias y hasta pronto!
IEEE Vehicular Technology Society