Los Angeles will quickly have an “innovation zone” for testing mobility merchandise

This article was originally published by Christopher Carey on Cities today, the leading news platform for urban mobility and innovation reaching an international audience of city guides. For the latest updates, see Cities Today Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Youtubeor sign up for Cities Today News.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has announced the foundation of the first city Innovation zone traffic technology – an area where private sector companies can test their transportation solutions.

Designed by Mayor Garcetti and Councilor Bob Blumenfield, the zone is one of the flagship programs of Urban Movement Labs (UML) – the accelerator for transport solutions introduced in November 2019 – is to turn the Warner Center district into a “center for mobility innovation and personnel development in LA”.

The zone’s first pilot will be a zero-emission last mile delivery service that will help connect residents of the home to food from local businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. The initiative was selected based on feedback from community members, companies and innovators.

Model zone

“Transportation and technology each have the ability to connect communities, create jobs and contribute to advances in sustainability, equity and economic growth. Los Angeles prides itself on serving as a testing ground for dynamic and innovative mobility solutions,” said Mayor Garcetti.

“The First Transportation Technology Innovation Zone will bring together local businesses, workers and inventors to revolutionize mobility in the West Valley, and it will serve as a model of what can be done when more zones in areas across Los Angeles go online.”

In May the UML issued a Information request (RFI) to understand the market for products and services after conducting local interviews, hosting workshops and completing qualitative, quantitative research in the field.

A second pilot project, due to start in spring, will create mini mobility centers in the entire neighborhood.

The newly appointed UML board of directors includes experts in the mobility innovation industry, including Ashley Hand, co-founder of Cityfi; Justine Johnson, mobility strategist at Ford Smart Mobility; and Veronica Siranosian, Vice President AECOM Ventures.

Open Mobility Foundation

Lilly Shoup, interim executive director of Urban Movement Labs, said, “With initiatives like the UML, which accelerates transportation solutions, and the Open Mobility Foundation, which gives policy makers the digital tools they need to manage emerging mobility Mayor Garcetti and LADOT lead the conversation about how equity, sustainability and accessibility can be embedded in our future of urban mobility. “

Launched in 2019, the Open Mobility Foundation brought together private companies (including Bird, Spin, and Microsoft) and nonprofits like The Rockefeller Foundation and Metrolab Network with LA and 14 other US cities to bridge the gap between data and mobility.

Through the Specification of the mobility data (MDS) – a data exchange standard that facilitates the exchange of anonymized data between transport companies and municipal transport departments – cities got more control over the use of micromobility in their cities and insights into future planning. The MDB was originally developed by LA and has since been adopted by many other cities through the Open Mobility Foundation.

However, the initiative was not without its critics, which resulted in a lengthy legal battle between LA and Uber.

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Published on December 24, 2020 – 15:00 UTC

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