The Georgia smart communities challenge is a statewide program to support governments across the state of Georgia with seed funding, technical assistance, and planning in order to develop into a “smart” city. The challenge is the first of its kind in the United States, bringing together academia, private, and public sector partners to solve some of the most exciting transportation challenges of the coming decades.

As a part of the smart communities challenge, over 140 attendees came together at a proposal development workshop and expo on April 9, 2018 at the GTRI Conference Center in Atlanta. The event was filled with fascinating insights into the future of transportation technology, and conversation around projects that the Georgia Department of Transportation is currently working on. Two projects that stuck out as particularly promising are:

1. The North Avenue Smart Corridor Project

The North Avenue Smart Corridor Project is an effort to leverage big data analytics and the internet of things to improve the livability of Atlanta and foster economic growth. The design of the project includes the installation of over 100 IoT devices at 18 intersections along the North Avenue corridor. The concept behind the project is described as “everything connected to everything” - connecting mobile app users with all aspects of the urban environment. Drivers speeding through the north avenue corridor receive alert messages, cyclists and pedestrians get alerted if a vehicle is approaching too fast or close, and emergency vehicles are offered faster passage through quick changing green lights.

2. The Wattway solar road pilot

The Wattway solar road pilot in rural west Georgia is an 18 mile stretch of road consisting of 538 square feet of solar panels. The road is expected to output around 7,000 kilowatt hours per year of electricity, which will be used to power the nearby Georgia visitors center. The 18 mile stretch of road (nicknamed “The Ray” for sustainability pioneer Ray Anderson) also features an electric vehicle charging station, and a system vehicles can drive over to test their tire pressure.

Future Transportation Technology and Transit Industry LandscapeAs transportation evolves, the technical infrastructure that vehicles rely on is certain to evolve as well. As a leader in the transportation scheduling space, Ecolane is looking forward to exploring the scheduling possibilities that these new technologies will bring. With the development of this fast paced change, having the ability to provide real-time automated scheduling is more important than ever. Ecolane is happy to help transportation agencies, and governments explore how they can use the power of our scheduling software to grow into a smart city of the future.

About the Author:

Jack Expert in the Future of Transportation TechnologyJake is a product analyst at Ecolane; he is responsible for managing market research, and contributing to the user interface design process. Jake has a strong background in bringing novel technology concepts to market, and developing products through all stages of their lifecycle. He previously interned in product at Gradx. Before that he was involved with several business-to-customer software startups.