Many automotive, mobility, and tech companies are working feverishly to create fully autonomous and connected vehicles, and mobility solutions to address the pressing needs of congestion, fatalities and injuries, and access to transportation. Vast amounts of time, energy and money are being invested in testing these technologies in the lab, in simulations, and in private enclosed test tracks. However, there is a need for testing pilot technologies in urban and rural real-world settings.
The Regional Growth Partnership has contracted with HWA Analytics to identify companies in the autonomous testing market as well as to position and sell the Toledo region as a viable location for such testing and deployment.
“The ultimate goal is to establish the Toledo Smart Technology Hub – a coalition focused on regional technology assets that can help and grow technology companies,” said Gary Thompson, executive vice president, Regional Growth Partnership.
The partnership between the RGP and HWA Analytics has identified 8 Determinants of a mobility-tech smart city. Those include: education, partnerships, investment, policy, infrastructure, talent, local expertise, startups. Their research and findings to date show Toledo as a location with strong potential to emerge as a leader.
According to Thompson, they have already Identified more than 20 target companies to explore opportunities with. In addition, many organizations have appointed individuals to be involved in the coalition including AAA Northwest Ohio, DriveOhio, OhioX, University of Cincinnati, University of Toledo, BGSU, Groome Transportation, Rudolph Libbe, TARTA, JobsOhio, and TMACOG.
Moving forward, Thompson said there are several ways the community can demonstrate its support:
- Join the coalition, refer others to the coalition
- Help connect companies, community, academia, agencies to develop and deploy place-based technology solutions
- Be available to meet with visiting tech companies
- Identify companies and technologies to investigate
- Tell us about your mobility/automation research and wish list
- Stage a startup technology summit
- Help with information and data—assets, organizations, meet-ups,
- Help market the region as a Technology Hub
The RGP and HWA Analytics continue making presentations to various constituencies to continue educating, raising awareness, and promoting the Toledo region as a place for autonomous technology research, testing and deployment.