POLICYSMART #7 John Ellis on Drones and the Future

You can no longer have a conversation about next generation transportation or intelligent transportation without talking about drones. Where will they operate? What are the right-of-way issues? What are the insurance issues? What are the questions that we’re not asking? John Ellis, the author of the Zero Dollar Car, joins Regina Hopper in this edition of POLICYSMART to take a look at the future.

POLICYSMART #6 Live From CES 2018

As transportation evolves, the way we think about transportation evolves, and at no place is that more apparent than at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada where transportation, technology, and entertainment converge. In this edition of POLICYSMART, Regina Hopper talks to electronic, tech, and auto experts to learn what’s next in transportation technology. You can subscribe to POLICYSMART on iTunes and Google Play to never miss an episode.

INTERSECT Speaker Series Kicks off in Richmond, VA

Written by Regina Hopper, SVP Global Public Policy, GRIDSMART

In early December, GRIDSMART joined with the Virginia Department of Transportation, ATI21 and Amazon Web Services to continue the discussions from INTERSECT17.  As transportation departments across the country, both local and state, are grappling with the intersection of traditional and new technologies to move people further faster, it was a perfect opportunity to end 2017 focusing on the important issues for 2018.

Governor Terry McAuliffe and Virginia Transportation Secretary Aubrey Layne both addressed how the state of Virginia is working to lead the nation in both rural and urban communities to advance next generation transportation technologies. The nearly 100 attendees came away with a look at both the day-to-day technical issues and the public policy landscape that both inhibit and advance next generation transportation technologies and initiatives.

Substantive aspects of the event focused on where things stand today, the transition period we are now in and how to position for the future.

One issue was at forefront.  Data is King. How to get it, what to do with it, how to keep it private, how to analyze it, how to keep it safe.

Other questions – What are the technologies around cloud security? How do those who work in intelligent and next generation transportation interface with those in IT? What does this mean for cities and states as there is more connectivity? And how does connectivity further autonomy? What are the new business models around data, the cloud, connectivity, and autonomy and how do those new business models interface with the business model currently in place?

Finally, what needs to be done with the current and next generation workforce to make everyone ready for what needs to be done now and for the future?

What became clear is both private industry and public agencies are in agreement these issues are meant to lift us out of the day-to-day questions of operations and policy to drive to the real issue behind these next generation technologies … saving lives.

On the public policy front, the discussions held at both the VA event and at INTERSECT17 foreshadowed the legislative and regulatory agendas that will be important in 2018 on both the state and federal levels. 5G? DSRC? New technologies?  What should be the appropriate rules around the preemption for autonomous vehicles? Where should safety information from connected and autonomous vehicles be stored… with the federal government, with states and cities, some combination of both, or in a third-party organization? What is the status of vehicle to infrastructure technology and how can both regulators and legislators help advance those important aspects of conductivity?

As we move into 2018, policy and lawmakers as well as private industry and research institutions at every level will continue to debate these issues.  Test facilities and pilot programs will help advance the real-world application to public roads.  Many businesses and governments will be taking up the challenge to balance spending needed for traditional infrastructure versus spending on new intelligent infrastructure. Initiatives will get underway, some of which are already in nascent stages of development, to advance public acceptance of these technologies. Communities and cities will begin looking at how to align transportation initiatives into the larger ‘smart cities’ concepts to advance health care, education, and environmental priorities.

There are many voices in these discussions and GRIDSMART is proud to be a part of this discourse!

Here’s Looking At You, 2018

250 million connected vehicles will transverse our roadways by 2020 according to Gartner.  By 2040 it is anticipated that autonomous vehicles (AV) will represent 25% of all vehicle traffic.   All of this will be supported by infrastructure that will accommodate connected and non-connected vehicles as well as a mix of self-driving with human driven cars, while trying to connect all of the preceeding to bikes, pedestrians and commercial vehicles that includes drones.

Laws and procurement policies will change faster than ever and regional cooperation will be essential to daily activity.  Cities leading this metamorphous will reap huge economic benefit by attracting human capital and technology companies, while those who lag may never fully recover.  Insurance will change, and there will be drama.  This past March we saw a self-driving Uber vehicle get into a three-way crash in Temple, Arizona.  How is that for uncomfortable? Uber temporary ceased self-driving activity.

While managing all of this as well as todays issues, municipalities must also be ready for 5.9 GHz (DSRC) vehicle communication that may be replaced by 5G before it starts.  Data storage and cyber security will come from nowhere to catapult to the top of traffic department priorities over the next five years.

The National League of Cities (NLC) released “Autonomous Vehicles: A Policy Preparation Guide” in April of 2017 predicting that cities must be ready with “scalable, highly-resilient cloud-based infrastructures” and be ready to accommodate “broadband needs of a mixed AV transit system” to be prepared for the future.   The same NLC report suggests “negotiating matching loans with state infrastructure banks” to create infrastructure investment and that cities must be aware “their wireless broadband needs will grow exponentially and understand their infrastructure will need to constantly be updated” will be the new normal.  They suggest “Additionally, cities need to carefully consider requirements around keeping data safe and protecting against cybersecurity threats, as well as budget for the infrastructure necessary to securely store it”.

And then, there will be new challenges such as curb management.  According to Governing Magazine, America’s 25 biggest cities collected nearly $5 billion in car revenue in 2016.  This is primarily from parking and works out to be about $129 per resident.  If that goes away with shared mobility, what happens to services? By-the-way, who is responsible for updating maps for self-driving cars?

What is a Traffic Professional to do?

It seems, a sensible avenue to begin the journey is to rely on trusted partnerships.  Relationships where your collaborators watch out for your best interest and focus on doing the right thing rather than the easy, trendy or selfish thing.    Connections where the collaborator works hard in delivering you great product and information that will be Flexible enough to evolve as technology and policy does.

GRIDSMART would like to be that partner.  Do we have all the answers?  Hell no!

What GRIDSMART does have is a Company built on principles.  Simple.  Flexible.  Transparent.  It all means doing the right thing, every time.  Some companies are built on innovation and others on profitability.  That creates behavior incentives for each such company.  When the core value is doing the right thing, behavior is, well Simple.  GRIDSMART won’t have all the answers, but we will partner and collaborate in 2018 to deliver the best we can and tell you honestly when we just don’t know.  We will invest in delivering the right answers.  We will of course also invest in delivering the right products for your future.

You will see more POLICYSMART podcast from our Vice President of Global Policy, former ITS America CEO, Regina Hooper.  She will leverage her two decades of public policy experience to bring you clear and understandable messages about policy and technology.  By the way, she won an Emmy award covering the White House for CBS, so we think she understands how to deliver a message clearly.

We will roll out an exclusive partnership with Mobile Comply, the internationally recognized training and curriculum development company, staffed with industry leading subject matter experts specializing in mobile connectivity, and connected vehicles to help certify ITS Professionals.  Mobile Comply is bringing to ITS what it has already delivered to SAE.  Focused, valuable and efficient training.   Heck, GRIDSMART will sponsor you for part one of your three-part training.

GRIDSMART will bring the INTERSECT movement out of Knoxville for regional events and of course keep raising the bar with our industry focused fall event where you will learn from industry leaders such as Congressman Bob Walker, Governor George Allen and Former Secretary of State, Mary Peters like you did in 2017.  Our friends from Thinking Highway Magazine will continue to work with us on your career 401K Plan and we will work to provide training from the National Operations Center of Excellence (NOCoE) just like in 2017.

GRIDSMART will maintain our Board Seats on National Trade Groups like ITS America and grow our partnerships with Denso and private Cyber Security Firms to bring you cutting edge products, news and information that will always be Simple, Flexible and Transparent.

You will learn all about this and more in this newsletter and we can’t wait to share all we discover through our efforts with you, right here.

Your path leading your community into the future will have challenge.  But if it were easy, anyone could do it.  You are special.  You deliver tomorrow to your neighbors today.  In supporting you, we promise you can count on us to always try to do the right thing.   You can count on GRIDSMART to invest where there is not always a return to us, but where the return is for us all.  We can’t wait for 2018 and I sincerely hope it will be a ride we take together.

God Bless

Bill Malkes, Founder

POLICYSMART #5 What Will it Take to Deploy Next Generation Networks?

What are wireless carriers doing to advance intelligent next generation transportation? What will it take to deploy 5G? Regina Hopper, Senior VP for Global Public Policy, talks with Walter White of Verizon in this edition of POLICYSMART.

The POLICYSMART podcast can be found in the Apple Store, Apple App and on Google Play!