Last week, Colorado Technology Association held its annual Legislative Outlook to inform members of the tech community about high priority issues facing Colorado. Colorado Department of Transportation’s (CDOT) Executive Director Shailen Bhatt gave a presentation on the changing nature of transportation and how technology is helping to shape it as well as the policy changes that will need to follow. CDOT is using innovative ideas to address transportation challenges, with many of those projects coming through their RoadX program.
CDOT’s RoadX program works to partner private companies with the public sector to deploy innovative technology solutions to transportation and infrastructure challenges. RoadX has already partnered with a large number of companies including Otto of Uber, Panasonic and HERE. In the partnership with Otto, CDOT helped to complete the world’s first commercial delivery by self-driving truck from Fort Collins to Colorado Springs. Appropriately for Colorado, the first delivery was a beer shipment. CDOT will also be working with Panasonic on a project called Smart 70 which will accelerate the advancement of autonomous vehicles by giving autonomous systems instantaneous data and warnings from connected vehicles.
Another partnership recently announced will take place between CDOT and Galvanize. This partnership will give CDOT access to Galvanize experts in the areas of data science, data engineering and full-stack software engineering. Galvanize will also tailor training to CDOT employees in those areas and explore sending employees through a Galvanize immersive program as part of the CDOT workforce of the future initiative.
RoadX is also working on the Hyperloop One project. The Rocky Mountain Hyperloop Team is on the shortlist for the Hyperloop One route selections, and the first segment would be constructed from Denver International Airport to Greeley. The finalists in the selection process will be announced in the summer of 2017.
As evidenced by the CDOT’s forward looking projects, Colorado tech is moving at a fast pace and we need to guarantee our laws and policies are modernized to ensure our state maintains its leading edge of innovation. CTA will continue to work with policy makers on all levels to be the voice of our tech community and advocate for policies that will keep Colorado tech moving forward.