With more than 1,000 new citizens moving to Texas daily, the Texas Department of Transportation must continue to explore opportunities that will help the state keep pace with an ever-growing demand on our roadway system. From Feb. 17-19, transportation experts, government leaders and others will gather at the Texas Transportation Forum to discuss innovative ways to approach future challenges.

"Texas has always been a national leader when it comes to transportation and we are committed to continuing that tradition by partnering with others to find solutions to our roadway challenges," said Phil Wilson, TxDOT executive director. "Through innovation and efficient use of tax dollars, Texans can be assured we will continue to make progress on our highway system."

Topics being discussed at the 2013 Texas Transportation Forum include:

• Expansion of the Panama Canal and its impact on Texas

• Supporting Texas' Energy Opportunity

• How Technology is Reshaping your Transportation Options

Speakers include Harvey Rosenblum, executive vice president and director of research at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas; Silvia Marucci, Panama Canal Authority; Congressman Roger Williams, U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee; Chairman Robert Nichols, Senate Transportation Committee; Sen. Glenn Hager Jr.; Sen. Juan Chuy Hinojosa; Sen. Kevin Eltife; Chairman Larry Phillips, House Transportation Committee and other leaders in transportation.

Another highlight of the Forum will be the first Texas visit of the Google self-driving car. The car is equipped with state-of-the-art technology including onboard sensors and 3D map data, allowing drivers to safely reach their destination in a car under automated control. Google team members will be on hand to talk with attendees about the vehicle and the future of driving.

Registration is now open for the Forum. The deadline to register online is Feb. 6 at 5 p.m. (CT). Visit txdot.gov/ttf for more information and to register.