Los Angeles prepares for new technologies with launch of urban mobility ‘masterplan’

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The Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) has released its ‘Urban Mobility in a Digital Age Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP)’, and the appointment of four consultancies that will reposition the agency as an active partner in the arrival of autonomous vehicles and new transportation technologies.

Guided by the city’s Urban Mobility in a Digital Age strategy, LADOT’s plans are focused on unprecedented investment in new transportation choices and supporting technologies. This includes the development and deployment of actively managed electric, shared and autonomous mobility options, including concepts such as dockless bike sharing and air taxis. All new modes of transportation are aimed at tackling congestion, enabling economic development, driving racial and socioeconomic equality, and saving lives. The SIP is a set of products and services that LADOT deems necessary to ensure that as autonomous fleets arrive in the sky and on the ground, they are first and foremost safe. The agency says that just as it created one of the largest most sophisticated traffic management centers for the 1984 Olympic Games, the SIP aims to set the city on a course to manage the streets of the future in 2028.

LADOT has appointed Ellis & Associates, and its affiliated partners CityFi, CCgroup, and Lantern Consulting, as the product manager for the initiative, with the four consultancies tasked with overseeing all of the SIP’s efforts and identifying and creating new partnerships between LADOT and public, private, academic, and non-profit organizations. While the agency has built significant capability and knowledge in many key areas, it requires specific expertise to collaborate with product companies to design, deploy and actively manage its Mobility 2.0 system. LADOT selected Ellis & Associates to fulfill this role due to its proven experience in product design, system design, product engineering, and its understanding of connected and autonomous vehicles, as well as the wider ecosystem.

“In the fast-changing transportation industry, it is absolutely vital for public agencies to keep user experience front-and-center. The technology may change, but our commitment to moving people safely, reliably and equitably does not,” said Los Angeles Transportation Committee chairman, Mike Bonin. “LADOT’s work builds a solid foundation for inviting technology providers to come to Los Angeles and serve our communities with new mobility options.”

LADOT’s general manager, Seleta Reynolds, explained, “The publication of the SIP, the release of the Mobility Data Specification, and the appointment of Ellis & Associates and its partners, sends a very clear message to global technology companies that the city is thinking about the future in a boldly different way. LADOT has led the world in identifying and implementing innovative technologies, services and approaches; the world’s first connected intersections, advanced mobility hubs, and a unique Mobility Bill of Rights. To maintain this momentum and drive social equity, we must create a new digital playbook.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since he joined the company in May 2014. Prior to this he worked on some of the UK's leading consumer magazine titles including Men's Health and Glamour, beginning his career in journalism in 1997 after graduating with a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).

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