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Texas creates future mobility innovation zone

Real-estate company Hillwood is establishing the AllianceTexas multi-modal transportation testbed, north of Forth Worth, which incorporates air and rail hubs.

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Aerial view of where the mobility innovation zone will be located
Aerial view of where the mobility innovation zone will be located

Commercial and residential real-estate developer, Hillwood, is setting up a mobility innovation zone that will serve as a testbed for future transportation technologies and platforms in Texas.

 

The company plans to collaborate with its anchor corporations, future customers, policy-makers, regulators, entrepreneurs, and academic institutions to develop a first-of-its-kind mobility innovation “do-tank” for partners to develop, test, scale, and commercialise advanced mobility technology and business models.

 

Air and rail hub

 

Hillwood will be leveraging its AllianceTexas master-planned development and inland port north of Fort Worth for the new centre. The 26,000-acre site is home to Fort Worth Alliance Airport, BNSF Railway’s Alliance Intermodal Facility, FedEx Southwest Regional Sort Hub, Amazon Air’s newest regional air hub, and more than 500 global and regional brands.

 

According to Hillwood, as home to the Federal Aviation Administration’s Southwest regional headquarters, AllianceTexas offers a fully integrated testbed unlike anything else in the country with direct access to the inland port anchors. In addition, there is FedEx’s ground sort hub, two UPS sort hubs, corporates and more than 162 miles of major arterial, state and federal highway systems.

 

By providing the infrastructure for multi-modal transportation, AllianceTexas said it is positioned to support the testing of innovative aerial and surface technologies to move both freight and people within a self-contained environment.

"The team is proactively working with customers and regulatory agencies to form strategic coalitions to lead the nation in smart infrastructure deployment”

“Creating the mobility innovation zone is the next step in the natural evolution of AllianceTexas,” said Mike Berry, president of Hillwood.

 

“With a solid transportation foundation already in place and our knowledge of new technologies being developed for the future of mobility, AllianceTexas is the perfect location for the first fully integrated mobility testbed. Our team is proactively working with customers and regulatory agencies to form strategic coalitions to lead the nation in smart infrastructure deployment.”

 

The technology platforms being integrated at AllianceTexas will enable innovative transportation solutions to develop stronger, faster, more reliable connections among devices and applications, the company claims.

 

Hillwood is working with AT&T to replicate its current 5G Evolution model being used at Hillwood’s Frisco Station development into the AllianceTexas platform, which will include adding wireless stealth micro cells, ultra-fast internet infrastructure, and robust wi-fi throughout the development.

 

In addition to its existing relationships with leaders in innovative mobility, Hillwood is also working with regulatory agencies to strengthen the evolution of transportation both on the surface and in air space.

 

Smart roadways

 

This collaborative approach will help define smart roadway infrastructure standards, enable autonomous vehicle movements on state and local roadways, and create industry standards for drones (UAVs) and vertical take-off and landing (VTOLs) aircraft to operate in an urban airspace environment.

 

Initially, two primary use cases are being developed for the launch of the mobility innovation zone. A surface freight mobility programme for IoT-enabled shipping containers to move within the AllianceTexas platform via autonomous trucks along a “smart road system”. This will allow retailers, consumer goods companies and other corporate partners to increase their supply chain efficiency.

 

The second use case is centred around establishment of an aerial proving ground that will allow drone and VTOL use case applications to be tested and ultimately integrated into the National Airspace System. Both use cases are designed to be scalable for maximum impact.

 

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The intermodal rail facility on the innovation zone
The intermodal rail facility on the innovation zone
Fort Worth Alliance airport, part of the mobility zone
Fort Worth Alliance airport, part of the mobility zone
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