Yousuf Taufiq has been elected president of the Intelligent Transportation Society of Michigan (ITS Michigan).
“I’m very excited and honored to have the opportunity to lead this organization,” said Taufiq, assistant vice president and manager of Michigan traffic and intelligent transportation systems engineering for WSP USA. “ITS Michigan is comprised of a mix of public and private entities that are truly leading the charge for the deployment of connected/autonomous vehicle (C/AV) initiatives to improve the transportation system in Michigan.”
Taufiq, who works in the Detroit office, served as ITS Michigan vice president before he was elected to a one-year term as president. He has been an active member of ITS Michigan since 2013 and a board member since 2015. He also serves as co-chair for the membership and outreach committee.
ITS Michigan is an advocate for the advancements of technology to support improvements to the transportation network. Its goal is to create an environment where the public and private sectors can work side-by-side to test and pilot technologies that can make the vision of zero fatalities a reality.
“I’m thrilled to be along for the ride and hope that our organization can continue to be a positive advocate for the inevitable change in the way we think about mobility in Michigan,” Taufiq said.
As vice president of the organization, he led initiatives to bring intelligent transportation systems professionals together at a recent networking event, championed an outreach event at Wayne State University, and is assisting the program committee to organize the 2017 ITS annual meeting.
“I’m committed to ITS Michigan’s mission to advocate for the technology enhancements of Michigan’s transportation system, provide a platform for the public and private sectors to engage collaboratively to advance the next generation of mobility, and to enhance workforce development in the area of intelligent transportation systems.”
Taufiq believes that the ability to further reduce or eliminate crashes with traditional methods has plateaued, and that C/AV technology offers the potential to reach a “zero deaths” vision.
“The automotive industry has made significant progress in advancing the technology that supports automation, as well as vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure exchange of information,” Taufiq said. “Ultimately, these advancements will drive a more connected transportation system, improving the safety and mobility of the traveling public.”
WSP has been involved with ITS Michigan activities and initiatives since 2007. Ed Tatem, Central Region transportation construction services manager, is a past president and served on the ITS Michigan Board from 2000-2016. Belinda Beard, office administrator, serves as administrative support for the ITS Michigan Board.
Taufiq grew up in Rochester Hills, Michigan and still lives in neighboring Rochester. He earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan and a master of business administration degree from Michigan State University.
He said his interest in intelligent transportation system technology emerged through his work with Scott Shogan, C/AV market leader at WSP.
“Scott is a mentor and friend who has coached me on this journey with intelligent transportation systems,” Taufiq said. “He has provided me with insights as a technical expert, project manager, and manager.”
Taufiq provides project management expertise to WSP’s public sector clients, including the Michigan Department of Transportation, to improve safety, operations, and mobility of the transportation system in Southeast Michigan. He has served in management and technical roles on a variety of ITS planning, design, and construction support projects.
“I enjoy the opportunity to be on the cutting-edge of the transportation business,” Taufiq said. “I’ve always been interested in technology, so to be part of a company like WSP and an organization like ITS Michigan is very exciting!”