Described as a destination where “remarkable ideas and remarkable people collide”, Compute Midwest will create a dialogue around key trends shaping tomorrow, including self-driving cars w/ insights from experts such as Bryant Walker Smith, professor at the University of South Carolina.

Showcasing the Future of Technology

The Compute Midwest conference focuses on the future of technology, announces autonomous cars as a key focus area on October 22nd and 23rd.

The event will also showcase cutting-edge technologies, including those involving the autonomous vehicle ecosystem such as Integrated Roadways, a producer of pavement that contains embedded sensors. The Kansas City based company’s “smart” infrastructure serves as the network carrier, providing navigation & telemetry for self-driving cars.

“The industry has primarily been focused on the vehicle and not the infrastructure”, said Tim Sylvester, founder of Integrated Roadways.

Sylvester presented his ideas at a time when autonomous cars were looked upon with more skepticism, "In 2012, I was the mad man in the room....but I’m still saying the same thing in 2015 and the same people are saying it's brilliant!”

"Where We're Going, We Don't Need Roads."

Now that self-driving cars are closer to being fully realized, “Transportation authorities worry about how to plan for the roads of tomorrow…. 5 , 10 and 15 years into the future”, he says. In fact, Google is launching their self-driving cars in Austin, TX, Google announced yesterday on their Google page.

“What we’re building with smart infrastructure is a new kind of “internet” for autonomous vehicles, but right now…we’re essentially on dial-up.”

Could a high-speed network like Google Fiber serve as a catalyst for self-driving cars and smart infrastructure? Kansas City, chosen first for Google’s service, is almost 1,000 times faster than the average connection.

All the pieces seem there, but “only the future knows,” says Sylvester.

Google Fiber Opens Up Opportunites for Innovation

Michael Gelphman, the founder of Compute Midwest and the creator of the mobile app coding school, The Disruption Institute, stated, "When Google Fiber chose Kansas City as the first place to install their high-speed service, we saw the huge opportunity to drive innovation & we wanted to help inspire people with big ideas to go out and created their own."

As a journalist, I've been to this tech conference in Kansas City twice over the past three years. I've always been impressed with the quality of brilliant people that Gelphman has brought to Kansas City to speak at Compute Midwest.

Now, as a Kansas City Royals fan, I hope to go attend Compute Midwest on October 22-23 during the day, and then go see the KC Royals in the World Series at night. It could be a magical time to be in KC.

A Few Notable, Previous Speakers at Compute Midwest

Alexis Ohanian

"Without Their Permission"
Jordan Evans

VIDEO: "The Future Of Mars Exploration"
Andrew Hessel

VIDEO: "Programming Living Things"
Vern Brownell

VIDEO: "The Future Of Quantum Computing"
Chris Kemp
Dan Levin
Rodney Brooks
Rob High
Jason Hoffman
Dan Kaufman
Brian David Johnson
Ariel Garten
Jane Poynter
John Underkoffler
Scott Chacon

Tech Conference in Kansas City

Taking place in Kansas City, the 4th annual, two-day Compute Midwest will bring together 16 speakers & thousands of attendees including top business leaders, startups, software engineers and investors from all over the world, to explore the trends transforming the future. Gelphman said that innovative sponsorship opportunities and bulk tickets to the conference are available.

Gelphman added this final thought, "When you think about Google creating a car that drives itself, or NASA sending a rover to Mars... it just makes anything seem possible."