Texas collaborate on tech strategy for economic development

Teams from 10 Texas cities will meet Thursday and Friday at the first Texas Mobility Summit to foster collaboration on a transportation strategy to advance the creation of a Smart State Consortium. The initiative aims to encourage public-private investment in the development of innovative and technology solutions to address the state’s mobility challenges.

The event, hosted by the Texas Technology Task Force, will be held at the Hilton Austin Hotel. Teams consisting of a cross section of leadership from transportation and community agencies are coming from Arlington, Austin, Bryan-College Station, Corpus Christi, Dallas-Fort Worth, El Paso, Houston and San Antonio as well as a team made up of researchers from the University of Texas at Austin, the Texas A&M Transportation Institute and the Southwest Research Institute.

“This inaugural event will promote Texas as a leader in mobility and innovation,” said Dr. Michael Walton, chair of the Texas Technology Task Force and Cockrell Centennial Chair in Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. “City, regional and research teams will have the opportunity to share their ideas – from enabling connected vehicles to providing transportation options at your fingertips – and develop a common vision for the future of Texas mobility.”

Input during the two-day event will be the basis for a developmental roadmap for the Smart State Consortium, an advancement of the United States Department of Transportation’s Smart City Challenge in which Austin was a finalist. Columbus, OH, was selected the winner of federal and industry funding to reshape its transportation system to become part of a fully-integrated city that harnesses the power and potential of data, technology and creativity to reimagine how people and goods move throughout their city.

“Through this summit, we will begin building a network of leadership across the state that will identify shared challenges, create an agenda for action and strengthen the ability for Texas to compete for federal and private funding,” said Darran Anderson, TxDOT director of strategy and innovation. “It will also help us to better leverage resources across the state and facilitate knowledge and technology transfer.”

The summit program calls for teams to present their visions for an innovative mobility system leading to discussion and consensus among the participants. The second day of the summit opens with an address from State Rep. Joe Pickett, chairman of the Texas House Committee on Transportation, followed by a panel of mayors moderated by Evan Smith, CEO and co-founder of the Texas Tribune. Mayors include Jeff Williams of Arlington, Oscar Leeser of El Paso, Betsy Price of Fort Worth and Ivy Taylor of San Antonio.

For more information on the Texas Mobility Summit, visit http://ctr.utexas.edu/texas-mobility-summit/.

For media inquiries, contact TxDOT Media Relations at MediaRelations@txdot.gov or (512) 463-8700.