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Texas Mobility Summit aims to create a ‘Smart State’

Teams from 10 Texas cities will meet in Austin on December 1-2, at the first Texas Mobility Summit, which aims to foster collaboration on a transportation strategy and advance the creation of a Smart State Consortium.

Hosted by the Texas Department of Transportation’s (TxDOT) Texas Technology Task Force, the initiative aims to encourage public-private investment in the development of innovative and technology-based solutions to address the state’s mobility challenges. Input during the two-day event will be the basis for a developmental roadmap for the Smart State Consortium, an advancement of the US Department of Transportation’s Smart City Challenge, in which Austin was one of the seven finalists. The participating cities will look to reshape their own, and the state’s, transportation systems to become part of a fully integrated region that harnesses the power and potential of data, technology and creativity, to reimagine how people and goods move throughout Texas.

Teams consisting of a cross section of leadership from transportation and community agencies are coming from Arlington, Austin, Bryan-College Station, Corpus Christi, Dallas-Fort Worth, El Paso, Houston and San Antonio, as well as a team made up of researchers from the University of Texas at Austin, the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI), and the Southwest Research Institute (SWRI). The summit program calls for teams to present their visions for an innovative mobility system, leading to discussion and consensus among the participants.

The first day will see the teams share ideas and discuss the role that emerging technologies will play in improving safety, enhancing mobility, and enabling economic growth for all communities. The second day opens with an address from State Rep. Joe Pickett, chairman of the Texas House Committee on Transportation, followed by a panel of mayors moderated by Evan Smith, CEO and co-founder of the Texas Tribune. Mayors include Jeff Williams of Arlington, Oscar Leeser of El Paso, Betsy Price of Fort Worth and Ivy Taylor of San Antonio. Teams will present their vision for an innovative mobility system and propose solutions to pilot.

“This inaugural event will promote Texas as a leader in mobility and innovation,” said Dr Michael Walton, chairman of the Texas Technology Task Force and Cockrell Centennial Chair in Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. “City, regional and research teams will have the opportunity to share their ideas, from enabling connected vehicles to providing transportation options at your fingertips, and develop a common vision for the future of Texas mobility.”

Darran Anderson, TxDOT’s director of strategy and innovation, commented, “Through this summit we will begin building a network of leadership across the state that will identify shared challenges, create an agenda for action, and strengthen the ability for Texas to compete for federal and private funding. It will also help us to better leverage resources across the state and facilitate knowledge and technology transfer.”

November 29, 2016

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