American Heritage Keeps Growing, Giving Back

By staff writer

May 2019

American Heritage Credit Union has made the news many times lately — and the pace of breaking developments is only going to speed up as the esteemed Philadelphia institution continues growing at a rapid clip. Yet the financial institution’s focus will never change a key aspect of its operations, according to CEO and President Bruce K. Foulke.

“All our efforts are driven to directly benefit our members and give back to the communities where our members and employees live and work,” said Foulke, who has seen American Heritage’s assets grow from $4 million to more than $2.5 billion during his 40-year tenure. “That’s the heart of American Heritage.”

Last year, the $2.5 billion, member-owned financial cooperative with locations across Philadelphia, Bucks, Montgomery, Delaware and Camden counties was named the top credit union in Pennsylvania by Forbes and the market research firm Statista. Recently, it was named “Best Place to Work” in the extra-large companies category by the Philadelphia Business Journal.

It’s on many national top-50 and top-100 credit union lists, too. “We began as a small credit union in Philadelphia 70 years ago,” said Foulke. “We were the only financial institution in a two-mile radius in our part of Philadelphia when we started. Today, we have more than 38 locations in the Philadelphia area.”

But that doesn’t mean that American Heritage has become like the other financial powerhouses in the state, he added. “Credit unions offer a special experience compared to a traditional banking institution. We’re a non-profit organization, and our members are also our owners. So we don’t have shareholders we need to satisfy. Whether it’s in the form of lower fees, better technology, or better rates, we’re focused on solutions that make our members’ lives better.”

Indeed, American Heritage is making big investments in delivering best-in-class convenience. The credit union continues growing its branch network throughout the Philadelphia and South Jersey region with more and more locations — all with surcharge-free ATM access to the public.  Additionally, it gives free ATM access to members at more than 30,000 locations.

American Heritage has also made significant investments in innovative, transformational technologies. It was the first financial institution in the tri-state area to introduce video tellers, for example. Its technology offers “personalized service and extends our hours, which allows our members to make transactions on a schedule that meets their needs,” said Foulke, who added that American Heritage’s Personal Automated Tellers are being implemented throughout the credit union’s network in branches, workplaces and in drive-thru locations.

A key benefit that comes with the implementation of new technologies, he said, is the increased connectivity with experts and personnel in different locations, as well as later hours. “We’re also adding video conferencing to all our offices so that members can have that personal interaction with our financial experts right at their fingertips, no matter where their branch of choice is located,” Foulke said.

Both the video conferencing and the Personal Automated Tellers are helping American Heritage become less transactional and more consultative — which in turn improves its personalized service. That type of attention and community focus will remain American Heritage’s priority despite technological advancements, Foulke said.

“The Philadelphia area is a region of unique neighborhoods, and although in recent years we have enjoyed significant growth in our technology, membership base, workplace partner relationships and expansion into the suburbs and New Jersey, we don’t forget our roots and the communities from which we were built.”

Indeed, American Heritage invests heavily in local neighborhoods through donations, volunteer hours and lending programs. In fact, American Heritage was the first credit union in the country to start its own Foundation, Kids-N-Hope, which has contributed more than $2 million since its inception to underwrite health programs, schools, child programs, parks and recreational activities throughout Philadelphia and its suburbs.

In addition, “our lending programs have helped businesses grow, creating jobs and revitalizing badly needed parts of our city,” Foulke said. “Through our lending efforts to families, businesses and non-profits, we’ve been able to provide true economic development opportunities.”

“Despite all the success and growth that American Heritage has enjoyed, our members can still contact me directly through our website or by calling me.  I still welcome the personal interaction with our members. Ultimately, the impact that our credit union, its members and employees have had on the community is my greatest source of pride.”

For more information about our interviewees, visit their website:

American Heritage Federal Credit Union: https://www.americanheritagecu.org/

 

 

Atlanta Creates Board to Boost Tech Growth, Connectivity

By staff writer

April 2019

Atlanta may be one of the nation’s leading technology hubs, but the city isn’t satisfied. Last week, it announced the formation of a Chief Information Advisory Board (CIAB) to take its tech industry to the next level while improving the city’s digital connections.

Leaders from public and private sectors who comprise the board will analyze the challenges facing Atlanta’s technology sector and overall digital connectivity. Members of the CIAB team include IT leaders from Delta Airlines, Georgia State University, Cox Enterprises, Equifax, Chick-fil-A, Southern Company, Metro Atlanta Chamber, Quikrete, Adams & Reese LLP and Atlanta Tech Village.

 “The Chief Information Officer Advisory Board will play a vital role in setting the strategic direction for innovation and technology now and in the future,” said Gary Brantley, the city’s chief information officer.  “We’re thrilled to partner with these senior executives within top companies whose deep experience will fuel our agenda and help shape the future of technology in the great city of Atlanta.”

Building the right ecosystem for a growing tech hub requires a community of entrepreneurs, tech-focused corporations and higher education institutions who can supply skilled workers. As they say, it takes a village, and Atlanta has created its own Atlanta Tech Village, the country’s fourth largest tech hub. And it’s tethered to a robust investment and business community.

The city’s goal is to create 10,000 jobs and fuel Atlanta’s rise to a top-5 U.S. tech start-up center. The Village facilitates connections between talent, ideas and capital. In addition to providing fully equipped office space, The Village offers daily interactions to spread ideas and collaboratively solve problems; mentors and advisors who guide participants through challenges; networking events and classes to create collaborations and pre-accelerator programs; discounts from partners like Google, Microsoft and Hubspot; pitch competitions; and access to talent that can help grow businesses and attract new customers.

Atlanta is also home to the BridgeCommunity, a platform developed by Coca-Cola that aims to accelerate the success of technology start-ups by connecting them to corporations, while supporting local entrepreneurship. In addition, those with ties to cybersecurity and machine learning have a robust accelerator program in Cyberlaunch.

Higher education opportunities for techies include programs at Georgia Tech and Emory University, designed to help students and non-students further their businesses and achieve greater success. They’re another critical component of the city’s high-tech plans.

“We are proud of the ever-growing tech hub Atlanta has created,” said Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms upon announcing the new board. Its members, she said, “will serve as a great resource as we explore how we can continue to use technology in creative ways to improve our city and leverage our innovative local tech community.”

To learn more, please visit: https://www.business.org/business/startup/top-cities-for-entrepreneurs-and-startups/

Atlanta Chief Information Officer Advisory Board members include:

Eric Anderson, Egon Zehnder
David Cummings, Atlanta Tech Village
Cynthia Curry, Metro Atlanta Chamber
Martin Davis, Southern Company
Michael “Mike“ Ebrick, Chick-fil-A
Jay Ferro, Quikrete
Roy Hadley, Adams and Reese LLP
Bryson Koehler, Equifax
Danielle McPherson, Delta Airlines
Gregory Morrison, Cox Enterprises
Krishnakumar “KK“ Narayanan, Delta Air Lines
Phil Ventimiglia, Georgia State University
Tye Hayes, City of Atlanta

Tampa Bay’s Strong Female Leaders are Changing the Area’s Future

By staff writer

April 2019

Within the Tampa Bay market lies a strong cohort of female leaders looking to enhance their community. Whether it be local government, law offices, performing arts centers, or tech-based companies, these women are taking steps to ensure Tampa Bay’s steady growth.

Take Trenam Law, for instance, which has offices in Tampa Bay and St. Petersburg and is led by managing shareholder Marie Tomassi. “We have seen some growth over the past year or so that we’re very excited about,” Tomassi said. “We acquired five lawyers and two paralegals from another firm in the area that have been a great fit for Trenam.”

As the firm continues to grow, Tomassi sees Trenam Law expanding its reach into fields that have recently fallen into higher demand — such as cybersecurity and solar energy. The firm recently bolstered its land-use practice by adding lawyers who are well-versed in representing alternative energy sources as a means to better the community.

“This group of top-notch professionals has helped us develop our solar practice, which is something that’s fairly unique,” Tomassi said. “As the Tampa-area market grows, our practice groups strengthen. Tampa has seen an increase in tech and a booming real estate market. Our technology and cybersecurity practice groups have been seeing a lot of demand because of the action in the market.”

And as Trenam Law moves into more tech-focused fields, so does the workforce in Tampa Bay.

This is quite evident in regulatory software company Global Safety Management, which is led by their founder & CEO Julia MacGreggor-Peralta who is working to ensure that as the tech space in Tampa continues to grow, so does the number of women working in it.

“More than 60 percent of our employees are women, which is unusual in our space as a regulatory software company. It’s traditionally considered a man’s business,” Julia MacGreggor-Peralta told Invest. “As female business leaders, we’re working to change this.”

The growth in tech is also being stimulated by women like Lakshmi Shenoy, CEO of Embarc Collective, who felt extremely bullish in relation to the growth in Tampa. “It’s the right time to be in Tampa Bay if you want to be a part of our growth story. I believe the growth of the entrepreneurial community and increase in startup businesses will attract people that maybe weren’t previously interested in Tampa Bay or Florida that want to help grow and build something here.”

Hillsborough County Commissioner Sandra Murman, who was re-elected to a third term in 2016, sees the Tampa Bay area as an up-and-coming destination for tech workers and is intent on making that goal a reality.

Here in Tampa, we’re intent on acquiring higher-wage tech jobs to keep graduates local after they move on from our colleges and universities. We want to be seen as a Charlotte, Chicago, or New York — an attractive city that young professionals want to call home.”

Murman knows that in addition to providing job opportunities, the city also needs to provide an affordable place for said very tech workers and young professionals to live, and the city is putting forth the resources to do just that.

“We just made a large investment in our general revenue budget — an extra $5.2 million for affordable housing,” Murman said. “The plan is to leverage that money with private developers to maximize our impact. Most affordable housing projects cost somewhere between $15 to $25 million, so we have to creatively figure out ways to make our dollars stretch.”

The city also benefits greatly from the economic impact of the Straz Center, one of the country’s largest performing arts centers. President & CEO Judith Lisi is keen on the center remaining a mainstay of a booming community.

“The Straz Center is the largest performing arts center south of the Kennedy Center and the largest cultural organization in Florida with $100 million annual economic impact,” she said. “We are the first performing arts conservatory attached to a major performing arts center in the country. There are a lot of other performing arts centers from around the country looking at us as a model.”

And Lisi intends to capitalize on the prime location of the Straz Center, right along the Tampa Riverwalk, as a means for attracting an even larger and diverse crowd to the center.

“We have a great opportunity in light of the transformation of the Riverwalk,” Lisi said. “Our whole masterplan for the renovation of the Straz Center is being developed to address everything that’s happening on the river.”

With a strong group of female leaders within its business and arts communities and a local government investing in its community, Tampa Bay is establishing itself as the next hot spot in South Florida. Thanks to the efforts of women like Tomassi, Murman,Lisi, MacGreggor-Peralta, and Shenoy, the city is making that dream a reality.

To learn more about our interviewees, visit their websites:

Marie Tomassi with Trenam Law: https://www.trenam.com/people-list/marie-tomassi/

Hillsborough County Commissioner Sandra Murman: https://www.hillsboroughcounty.org/en/government/board-of-county-commissioners/sandra-murman

Judith Lisi with Straz Center: https://www.strazcenter.org/About-The-Straz-Center/Executive-Staff

Lakshmi Shenoy with Embarc Collective: https://www.embarccollective.com/team/

Julia MacGreggor-Peralta with Global Safety Management: https://www.gsmsds.com/

A Hub for Medical Innovation

By staff writer

February 2019

There are certain aspects of a community that will always prove to be true. One such truth is when you have an area like Tampa Bay that is home to nearly 3 million people, and that number is steadily increasing year after year, there is inevitably going to be a need for more medical care. With that comes an increased emphasis on medical education. So how is Tampa handling this increased demand? The simple answer is: innovation.

Tampa is home to a number of highly praised and widely recognized medical institutions, and one of these institutions is Ultimate Medical Academy. The academy is using innovative methods for its online school to better equip those students who might not have the flexibility in their lives to go to an actual campus. Invest: Tampa Bay recently sat down with the school’s president, Derek Apanovitch, to discuss how they are best supporting their medical students.

“It has been a good year at Ultimate Medical Academy,” Apanovitch told Invest:. “We reached 15,000 students nationwide, and we have more than 45,000 graduates across the country. We also received four more years of accreditation from the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools.

“We have what we call learner-services advisors who are assigned to individual students on their first day of class and stay with them through the duration of their program to help keep them on track,” Apanovitch continued. “One of the obvious challenges of running an online learning environment is that you don’t have students in front of you. We try to reaffirm that human element through constant interaction with our students, many of whom are single moms who are juggling part-time jobs and child care, so it’s important that someone is always available to help them. Faculty and the student support center employees are always on hand. That’s integral to the success of our students.”

Online institutions like Ultimate Medical Academy are proving successful because of their accessibility. This idea of accessibility has also been adopted by Tampa’s hospitals, making it so their patients have access to the items they need without having to go out of their way to procure them.

Invest: Tampa recently spoke with Tampa General Hospital’s CEO and president, John Couris, to discuss how they are leveraging innovative technologies to improve patient experience.

“We use a system called Epic for our electronic medical records (EMRs), and arguably it’s one of the best EMRs in the world,” Couris said. “It has improved access to clinical information exponentially for patients. Patients can access test results. They can communicate and message their doctors. They can make appointments. They can fill prescriptions. They have a to-do list for healthcare and tracking. They have a healthcare summary. They can see and pay their bills. They can do an e-visit, and they can share their records with any other Epic institution in the world. Not every institution has that kind of technology and infrastructure. We have it, and we’re continuing to get better at it.”

Innovation is not a new concept, but it is one that is necessary for Tampa Bay’s continued success in the medical field. As long as medical professionals and institutions continue to innovate, Tampa Bay will continue to be at the forefront of Florida’s medical community!

To learn more about our interviewees, visit their websites:
Ultimate Medical Academy: https://www.ultimatemedical.edu/
Tampa General Hospital: https://www.tgh.org/

High-Tech Hub

By staff writer

January 2019

Orlando has been evolving into a high-tech hub. With more than 2,000 technology-based companies in fields from simulation and training technology to digital media and medical technology, the City Beautiful is increasingly attracting tech startups and investors. Orlando ranked number six among 20 of the fastest-growing technology markets in the U.S. in 2017, according to Time magazine.

The growth in Orlando’s tech jobs was 149 percent from 2016 to 2017, according to data from the job search site ZipRecruiter. Among the top tech jobs in Orlando are project manager, software engineer, project engineer, network engineer and developer, with an average $59,500 early career median pay and $105,000 mid-career median pay.

The modeling simulation industry plays a big role in Orlando’s technology sector, earning the city the reputation for being the modeling, simulation and training capital of the world. With simulation programs supporting military training and partnerships between the local government, defense department and private entities, the industry continues to grow and fuel the local economy.

“We have the most robust modeling simulation and training cluster in the entire world, and that’s something not many people know,” Buddy Dyer, mayor of the City of Orlando, told Invest: Orlando when he sat down with our team in late 2018. “That is successful because of the great research park that we have associated with the University of Central Florida (UCF) and military applications. It continues to be a developing area, along with the biomedical and life sciences industry cluster.”

Another cluster that is seeing growth is digital media. For example, Creative Village is a mixed-use neighborhood in downtown Orlando built on the success of Orlando’s digital media industry. “We broke ground on the UCF/Valencia College downtown campus and started constructing the Creative Village,” said Dyer. “We are noted for industry clusters in our community, so this is an industry cluster in digital media that will have the academic, residential and, certainly, retail and business parts all clustered together.”

At the beginning of 2019 the Orlando Business Journal reported that more than 1,200 jobs were available for tech workers in Orlando. Companies recruiting included Lockheed Martin Corp., with 839 job openings; Leidos Inc., with 84 job openings; Luminar Technologies Inc., with 47; Accenture Federal Services, with 41; and EA Tiburon, with 40.

Claudia Muriel, president of UCRYA, a leading global software application development company, noted that the growth of the technology sector in Central Florida stands out. “Each industry has a lot of growth and demand, but technology is the one experiencing the most growth,” she told Invest:. “No matter which industry an IT solutions company is in — healthcare, life sciences or financial services — we see opportunities everywhere. We just have to determine what technology is right for them.”

To support the development of the tech sector, Orlando universities offer specialized programs and certifications. Programs include the UCF Institute for Simulation and Training, Full Sail University’s bachelor’s degree in simulation and visualization and Embry Riddle Aeronautical University’s simulation science, games and animation program. With all the advances in global technology, there’s no doubt that Orlando will continue to excel in the industry, and Invest: Orlando will be keeping a close eye on the evolution!

For more information on our interviewees, visit their websites:

City of Orlando: http://www.cityoforlando.net/

UCRYA: http://www.ucrya.com/

 

Next-Generation Startups

By staff writer

January 2019

Miami’s growing reputation as a startup hub is no secret. The Miami/Fort Lauderdale/Pompano Beach region was ranked number one on the Kauffman Foundation’s 2017 Index of Startup Activity among 40 metropolitan areas. Furthermore, the city garnered a wealth of publicity when it was considered as a host for Amazon’s HQ2 site last year.

“I’m very happy with how the startup market in Miami has been evolving,” said Olivier Grinda, founder and CEO of local startup Home61, a digital real estate brokerage company, when he recently sat down with the Invest: Miami team. “The market now represents the first generation of startups i.e., those like us that came here in 2015-2017. Thanks to the work of local investors who decided to take a chance on the city back then, businesses such as ours were given the platform to grow and recruit employees.”

Thanks to decisions made over the last decade by local organizations and co-working spaces such as the Knight Foundation, Refresh Miami, LAB Miami and Pipeline, among others, the city was provided a foundation on which to grow its tech sector. However, there are other factors driving the city’s appeal for those looking to found or invest in startups.

When Invest: spoke with Richard Lavina, co-founder and CEO of Miami-based startup Taxfyle which has been the number one tax-time app in the App Store for the past three years he pointed to the city’s relatively low cost of living as a key asset for startup activity.

“$1 million doesn’t go as far in Silicon Valley as it does here in Miami,” Lavina explained. “Cost of living is cheaper, so people hired to come here can experience a better quality of life for lower pay.”

The low cost of living, favorable tax laws, weather and geographic location all work to ensure the city’s long-term appeal for startups, thus giving way for an upcoming “second generation” of startups over the next decade, which, according to Grinda, will further stabilize the local startup market and allow for continued growth.

“The city, which was once generally considered to be nothing more than a vacation destination, will grow into an intricate and diverse business center,” Grinda stated.

Given the city’s penchant for innovation and the velocity at which its tech sector has flourished, surely we can look forward to this second generation being just as robust and groundbreaking as the first. For more information on our interviewees and the local startups they founded, visit https://www.home61.com/real-estate and https://taxfyle.com/.

 

Philadelphia’s Diversified Economy Highlighted at the Launch of Invest: Philadelphia 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 14, 2019

City of Philadelphia Director of Commerce Harold Epps will give the keynote address at the launch of Capital Analytics’ first publication focusing on Greater Philadelphia.

Philadelphia, PA – Greater Philadelphia’s robust healthcare industry, historically strong higher education sector and focus on innovation are just some of the focal points in the first edition of Invest: Philadelphia from Capital Analytics. The 2019 edition highlights the five-county region of Greater Philadelphia, including Philadelphia, Montgomery, Bucks, Delaware and Chester counties, with special focus chapters on the City of Chester and the dynamic neighborhoods in the City of Philadelphia.

Philadelphia’s housing market is one of the hottest in the country, and the region’s real estate industry is attracting increased interest from investors both domestically and abroad, particularly in the multifamily space. Utilities and infrastructure are covered in detail as the city looks to alternative sources of energy to sustainably grow and develop. Transportation is a hot topic, with the Philadelphia International Airport continuing to expand its reach and SEPTA making improvements to help keep counties connected via extensive bus and train routes. The Invest: Philadelphia publication from Capital Analytics is a 208-page economic analysis that highlights business opportunities for investors, entrepreneurs and innovators alike looking to Philadelphia for opportunities.

The official launch of the publication will take place on January 24, 2019, at the Loews Hotel. Following a short networking breakfast, Harold Epps, Director of Commerce for the City of Philadelphia, will give a keynote address that underscores some of the major achievements of Philadelphia’s economy over the past 12 months. This will be followed by three robust panel discussions.

The panels will address major themes currently dominating Philadelphia’s economy: education, healthcare and innovation. The “Healing the Community: Healthcare in Philadelphia” panel will be moderated by Susanne Svizeny of Wells Fargo. Panelists will be Dr. Jay Feldstein of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Jack Lynch of Main Line Health, Dr. Larry Kaiser of Temple University Health System and Ray Williams of DLA Piper. The “World Class Minds: Education in Philadelphia” panelists will be Craig Carnaroli of University of Pennsylvania, Guy Generals of Community College of Philadelphia and Michael Mittelman of Salus University. The “On the Cutting Edge: Innovation in Philadelphia” panel will be moderated by Mathieu Shapiro of Obermayer, and panelists will be Dan Hilferty of Independence Blue Cross, Tricia Marts of Veolia, Atif Ghauri of MAZARS and John Giordano of Archer Law.

The event will be attended by hundreds of high-level guests and officials from some of Philadelphia’s key industries and economic institutions.

“Invest: Philadelphia is Capital Analytics’ first foray into the Northeast,” said Abby Melone, president of Capital Analytics. “After resounding success in South Florida and Georgia, we wanted to expand up the coast to the hidden gem of the Northeast. Philadelphia is increasing its global visibility, and we wanted help the city capitalize on that. As the most affordable major city in the Northeast corridor, Philadelphia has a great deal to offer people of all ages, from students to young professionals and from entrepreneurs to capital investors. We are excited to be a part of Philadelphia’s journey.”

 

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About Invest: Philadelphia

Invest: Philadelphia is an in-depth economic review of the key issues facing Greater Philadelphia’s economy featuring the exclusive insights of prominent industry leaders. Invest: Philadelphia is produced with two goals in mind: 1) to provide comprehensive investment knowledge on Philadelphia to local, national and international investors, and 2) to promote Philadelphia as a place to invest and do business.

The book conducts a deep dive of the top economic sectors in the county including real estate, construction, utilities and infrastructure, transportation and aviation, banking and finance, legal, healthcare, life sciences, education, sports, and arts culture and tourism. The publication is compiled from insights collected from more than 200 economic leaders, sector insiders, political leaders and heads of important institutions. It analyzes the leading challenges facing the market, as well as covers emerging opportunities for investors, entrepreneurs and innovators.

For more information, contact us at: contact@capitalaa.com

 

 

Tech-Forward Transportation

By staff writer

January 2019 — 2 min. read

Technology has had a significant impact on Orlando’s transportation sector. Various transportation companies have taken important steps towards innovative projects to improve passenger experience and service efficiency. For instance, a group of agencies are developing and testing several smart transportation technologies in the Creative Village complex throughout 2018 and 2019 to enhance pedestrian safety and ease congestion. Creative Village, located in Downtown Orlando, is a mixed-use, transit-oriented, urban infill neighborhood that will be home to the UCF/Valencia Downtown Campus in 2019.

The transit programs will be developed by the Florida Department of Transportation, MetroPlan Orlando and the University of Central Florida (UCF) as a result of a $12 million grant awarded by the Federal Highway Administration. The grant will focus on four major technologies: PedSafe, a pedestrian and bicycle collision avoidance system that digitally connects people, vehicles and traffic lights; GreenWay, which uses traffic signal technology and sensors to help the transportation system adapt to real-time traffic conditions; SmartCommunity, for trip-planning apps; and SunStore, which integrates FDOT data. Operation and maintenance of these projects are expected to continue through 2021.

In addition to group efforts and partnerships, many transit companies are implementing innovative solutions to combat mounting traffic and adjust to the needs of modern passengers. One example of these efforts are the changes made by LYNX, a bus system run by the Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority.

LYNX launched four mobile applications in 2018. “One of them is our LYNX Bus Tracker, a real-time mobile application that allows passengers to track the bus they are waiting to get on,” Edward L. Johnson, CEO of LYNX, told Invest: Orlando when he sat down with our team in early December. “We also developed NeighborLink, a mobile application for our door-to-door bus services for areas with less passenger flow. The technology is similar to Uber and Lyft applications.”

LYNX has also launched the application “See Something/Say Something,” which allows customers to discreetly send a notification to the company’s security offices if something improper is happening in one of its vehicles. LYNX plans to merge the mobile applications in 2019. It is worth noting that LYNX accommodates an average of 90,000 passenger trips daily over an area with a resident population of more than 1.8 million.

Companies like MetroPlan Orlando have reinvented the traditional way of adjusting to the influence of technology. “We are getting ready to update our strategic plan, and we are about to kick off the update of our long-range transportation plan,” Gary Huttmann, MetroPlan’s executive director, told Invest:. “This plan will be different from any other we have seen because of the influence of technology on the work that we do and how we address that looking into the future.”

Among the most anticipated innovative transit projects in Orlando is the arrival of Brightline, with construction set to begin in 2019. This massive project will allow passengers to travel from Orlando to Miami in three hours. Brightline is also in negotiations to add rail service from Orlando to Tampa, which might include stops near Disney World and Lakeland.

This advances in technology and intelligent transportation systems (ITS) are expected to reduce mounting traffic and road accidents and bring safer solutions to bikers and pedestrians. As outlined in the Harvard Business Report, McKinsey and Bloomberg New Energy Finance have estimated that in 50 metropolitan areas worldwide, a rapid transition to advanced mobility systems could yield $600 billion in societal benefits through 2030. You can bet that everyone here at Invest: will be keeping a keen eye on the tech-forward transit projects underway in Orlando.

For more information on our interviewees, visit their websites:

Lynx: https://www.golynx.com/

MetroPlan Orlando: https://metroplanorlando.org/

For more information contact:
Jaime Muehl
Managing Editor
contact@capitalaa.com
TEL: 305-523-9708, ext. 230

Look, Ma, No Hands!

May 2018 — Last month, the City of Peachtree Corners in Gwinnett County and Prototype Prime announced the creation of a city-owned autonomous vehicle track and Advanced Vehicle Technology Accelerator. By January 2019, the $2 million project will create a self-driving shuttle bus on a 1.4-mile stretch of Technology Parkway between Spalding Drive and Peachtree Parkway.

Despite what one might think, the goal of this autonomous shuttle bus is neither to address sustainability nor traffic. Instead, Peachtree Corners envisions this project as a way to propel economic development and attract top companies to the area. While the bus will be limited to only a small number of riders, it will serve as a test site for new AV-related technology. This test site is expected to attract companies focused on future transportation technologies.

 

Prototype Prime will work as a business incubator, as it is located on the planned 1.4-mile stretch of Technology Park where the autonomous shuttle will run. The company has over 25,000 square feet of space slated to house new startups and serve as the testing hub for future advanced vehicle projects.

In addition to the autonomous shuttle, Prototype Prime will launch the Advanced Vehicle Technology Accelerator in collaboration with TechConnectHub.com. This partnership is meant to foster collaboration among researchers, startups, Fortune 500 companies, local technology companies and corporations to work with the test shuttle.

All of this collaboration makes us wonder: Is the future of driving autonomous? In the last year, a large number of studies have been conducted regarding the impacts of a driverless world. Many studies explore congestion benefits, environmental benefits and even parking benefits.

One May 2017 study conducted by researchers from the University of Illinois, University Grenoble Alpes, the University of Arizona, Yale University, Penn State and Rutgers University found that adding just one autonomous vehicle to a mix of 19 normal vehicles lessened “jamiltons,” or traffic waves. Adding just one autonomous car to the mix reduced excessive braking events from 8.58 per vehicle per kilometer to just 0.12 per vehicle per kilometer. In short, autonomous vehicles are so efficient in speed that they reduce human inconsistency and result in much less traffic congestion.

In a heavily congested city such as Atlanta, autonomous driving could be the key to alleviating drivers’ woes. But is autonomous driving the future? The year 2018 is sure to bring many more studies and pilot programs in order to move toward this innovative technology. The Peachtree Corners vehicle track and accelerator program is propelling the future of transportation technology.

To learn more:
City of Peachtree Corners: https://www.peachtreecornersga.gov/
Prototype Prime: https://www.prototypeprime.com/
TechConnectHub: https://techconnecthub.com/