Toyota’s philanthropic arm will shift its focus to mobility issues in south Dallas as the next phase of Dallas Innovation Alliance’s smart cities initiative begins.
The car company, which just opened its North American headquarters in Plano last year, is leading innovation into autonomous and connected cars.
“Of course, we’re doing all that, but we do have a lot of knowledge and knowhow on how to move people from A to B,” said Michael Goss, Toyota’s general manager of social innovation. “I want to create opportunities for people where there’s so much need. Our 5,000 people can’t wait to get engaged and get started.”
“I want to create opportunities for people where there’s so much need.”
Toyota leaders joined officials from Dallas and DIA for a special event on Market Street Tuesday night to announce new smart city projects.
The details of Toyota’s mobility solution are still being worked out.
“Right now we’re in the diagnosis phase of that,” Goss said. “There’s more to come on this so stay tuned.”
Other new smart city projects in the works include smart irrigation systems for Dealey Plaza, smart water meters, smart parking, smart traffic management, and public WiFi.
WEST END PILOT A TEST FOR POSSIBLE CITYWIDE EXPANSION
Having the event outdoors allowed Jennifer Sanders, executive director of the DIA, to showcase the changes that have been made in the West End, including installing energy-efficient LED lighting. The West End pilot program is a test to see how these technologies could be expanded citywide.
DIA is a nonprofit that forms public-private partnerships to explore new and innovative smart strategies. These new smart technologies are revolutionizing everyday items by connecting them to the Internet of Things.
“It is only through key partnerships and the vision of the city of Dallas that we have been able to build the most robust and fastest-to-market smart city pilot in the country here in Dallas.”
Last March, DIA launched the Smart Cities initiative with major companies like AT&T, Cisco, Phillips, Ericsson, GE, Civiq, and now Toyota on board.
“It is only through key partnerships and the vision of the city of Dallas that we have been able to build the most robust and fastest-to-market smart city pilot in the country here in Dallas,” Sanders said.
Cities across the country are attempting to become smart, connected cities, but Dallas and the DIA are testing the solutions and making them applicable in record time, said Trey Bowles, CEO of The Dallas Entrepreneur Center.
“They see this public-private partnership as the best way to garner data quickly and efficiently for them to make decisions on a city-wide level,” Bowles said. “This helps them determine where they should spend their money, how to finance solutions like this, and what sorts of things they should expect as they are projecting and planning. And, ultimately, [answering] how does this make the city a better place for the citizens?”
DIA RELEASES RESULTES FROM PILOT’S FIRST PHASE
The results are in for DIA’s projects that launched in 2017 and the data shows it’s having an impact on the West End where the pilot has focused its attention.
The Interactive Digital WayPoint kiosk installed by CIVIQ Smartscapes puts information at pedestrian’s fingertips on Market Street in front of The DEC. There also are sensors that monitor pedestrian traffic.
“Our goal is to scale the project without taking out of the operating budget.”
The DIA partnered with the city of Dallas to replace traditional street lights with LED lights throughout the West End. In all, 23 lights were replaced. Statistics show crime has decreased since the new lighting was put in, Sanders said. Business also is picking up in the area, with the new 3Eleven Kitchen & Cocktails restaurant opening this month on Market Street.
Taking that lighting initiative citywide, Dallas could save energy, reduce electric bills, and avoid having to replace bulbs as often.
“It comes to millions of dollars that can be saved,” Sanders said. “Our goal is to scale the project without taking out of the operating budget.”
Photos by Merissa De Falcis.
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