This week in Intelligent Infrastructure 1/17

This week in intelligent infrastructure:

(This newsletter discusses the critical challenges in making Intelligent Infrastructure a reality, including finding new models for collaboration among public, private, and academics, new models for sharing data, new approaches to standards, regulation, security & compliance, and implementations of the latest technologies. We are hosting on 4/28 and 29 in Austin, Texas, Intelligent Infrastructure conference)

On January 14th, the City of Chattanooga announced Tyson Morris, Coca-Cola Global Head of Architecture and platforms, as their new CIO, replacing Brent Messer. The Wall Street Journal covered the news. Being able to attract talent like Brent in a city of less than 200,000 is remarkable and attests to what Chattanooga has become as a beacon for smart cities in the United States. In 2010, Chattanooga was one of the first cities to have built a fiber network through its city-owned power and distribution company EPB of Chattanooga. In 2014, Brent Messer joined as CIO, and in 2015, EPB improved the capacity to offer speed up to 10 Gigabits per second. Brent Messer started to use the infrastructure as a shared infrastructure, migrating all its operations to the cloud. New services have been created, such as a smart 2 miles long corridor that retime intersections to help traffic flow better or sensors that identify gunshots. Investment in smart cities has attracted companies like Volkswagen and Amazon and many start-ups. An independent study showed that the project generated US$ 2.7 Billion over ten years in economic benefits and 10,000 jobs. The overall cost of the project was about US$ 500 million over the same period.

China released its transportation networks 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-2025). The focus is to cut the time to travel overall. Most specifically, China is forecasting to increase its high-speed railways by 30% and its subway lines by 50% during that time. In parallel, China will work on a greener and more intelligent infrastructure.

Following the success of Prat Miller sanitizers’ pilot in Grand Rapid, now deployed in La Guardia and Detroit International Airport, Grand Rapid’s Ford International Airport is launching Flite.  The Ford Launchpad for Innovative Technologies and Entrepreneurship will provide funding to design, develop and test new high-tech Air Travel Solutions in their live airport environment. The initiative is a PPP supported by the Michigan Economic Development Corp and Southwest Airlines and has built an advisory board with seven other international airports. Flite unveiled the first batch of three 150 K grants. Aurrigo develops a digital twin for airside operation to provide data to understand how to implement autonomous operations in the future. Whill is a new ultraportable electric wheelchair to transport disabled passengers to and from the Airport. Lastly, Sunflower Labs tracks unusual activity and security remotely. Flite testbed/sandbox where companies can test their solution live and a community of early adopters interested in rolling out interesting technologies should accelerate innovation and significantly decrease the risk for the companies involved in the program.

Steve Adler, the Mayor of Austin, will be speaking at the Intelligent Infrastructure Conference in Austin, Texas, on April 28th and 29th, 2022. Mayor Steve was included in the list of the top 25 disruptive leaders working on closing the racial opportunity gap (along with Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and author Ta-Nehisi Coates) and named a Global reThinker by Foreign Policy. He will talk about Austin taking on a leadership role on Intelligent Infrastructure in the United States and around the world.