|Article by Abbas Jamalipour|
|As we start the last quarter of this year, people around the world are still battling the effects of one of the biggest global health crises in living memory. Throughout this very challenging year, we have all experienced and learned alternative ways to continue what we were doing, and at times, we also created innovative ways to succeed in achieving our goals. It appears that we will continue to live with the effects of pandemic for some time to come, and thus we need to find the new normal in our lives.
Advances in communications technology—especially in wireless systems and networks—have had a great impact in making such a transition possible, and also have reminded us of more things that still need to be done to improve these technologies. High speed data communications have made it possible for us to do much of our work and conduct meetings virtually from the comfort of our homes without any need to travel, locally or internationally.
At the same time, we have experienced instances where the underlying virtual connection was not as perfect as we expected, and we wished that we could have the meeting in person. So, we seem to still be a bit far from being able to do all that we do in a purely virtual context.
This November, we will host the fall edition of our flagship conference in a virtual format. IEEE VTC2020-Fall will feature new technical improvements on the delivery of a virtual conference, drawing on what we learned from IEEE VTC2020-Spring. IEEE CAVS 2020 will also be held virtually, in conjunction with VTC2020-Fall. I hope you will find these great international conferences to your satisfaction in their virtual platform.
The VTS Board of Governors (BoG) will also meet via teleconferencing in October. At the three BoG meetings each year, we discuss important issues related to the Society and its members, including budget, membership development, membership services, publications, conferences, standards, and so on. In addition, the executive team of VTS meets online several times throughout the year, to handle critical topics in sustaining and enhancing VTS.
Recently, the VTS BoG has decided to engage in a collaborative task with IEEE Intelligent Transportation Systems Society (ITSS). ITSS’ mission is in advancing the theoretical, experimental, and operational aspects of electrical engineering and information technologies as applied to intelligent transportation systems.
VTS, on the other hand, is comprised of engineers, scientists, students, and technicians, interested in advancing the theory and practice of electrical engineering as it applies to land transportation, railroad/mass transit, mobile communication, vehicular electrotechnology equipment and systems, and land, airborne and maritime mobile services.
As you may see, there are a great number of common topics of interest on which the two societies can collaborate. We have already started to work on joint standardization activities and membership.
From 2021, a new combined option of membership for VTS and ITSS will be available. This means that individuals interested in joining both societies would be offered a discounted rate (compared to having separate memberships for the two societies).
You will see this new option in your 2021 IEEE membership renewal notice, which should arrive in your mailbox this month. I encourage all members to take advantage of this new opportunity.
I am always available to you for any questions, suggestions, ideas, or comments on how VTS can better serve our membership. You can contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.