Innovative Transportation Solutions on Display at Texas Mobility Summit in Arlington
By Office of Communication
Posted on October 29, 2018, October 29, 2018

Driverless cars, personal delivery robots and smart intersections designed to reduce traffic congestion and collisions - those may sound like futuristic transportation initiatives, but they are happening now, and they are happening in North Texas.

In the wake of rapid growth and urbanization, cities in the Dallas-Fort Worth region and across the state are continuing to push the boundaries of transportation technology while exploring new ways to safely and efficiently move people and freight. Those strategies include autonomous and connected vehicles, data sharing and even high-speed rail to create better access to jobs, critical services and other communities. Teams of transportation agencies, researchers and policymakers are meeting this week in Arlington to discuss these strategies and present their visions for innovative mobility solutions as part of the 3rd annual Texas Mobility Summit.

"An embrace of technology is an important element of our strategy to keep the region moving. Whether through high-speed rail, hyperloop, next-generation people mover systems or automated vehicles, Dallas-Fort Worth wants to be at the forefront of solutions," said Michael Morris, director of transportation for the North Central Texas Council of Governments. "The Texas Mobility Summit provides us an opportunity to learn from the success stories of others and customize solutions to help our residents and employers."

The three-day Texas Mobility Summit, held Oct. 28-30, is hosted by the Texas Innovation Alliance in partnership with the Texas Department of Transportation, City of Arlington, North Central Texas Council of Governments, and the University of Texas at Arlington. The goal of the summit is to address common mobility challenges, showcase active and shovel-ready projects, and open the door to public-private partnership opportunities. Participants include the Regional Transportation Council, Houston METRO, Dallas Area Rapid Transit, and Smart Cities Lab.

"We're very excited to be going into the third Texas Mobility Summit with strong momentum and continued partnerships across public agencies, research institutions, and industry," said Darran Anderson, director of strategy and innovation for the Texas Department of Transportation. "As we look to the future of transportation, the Texas Innovation Alliance will be critical to assessing early deployments, sharing lessons learned, and positioning Texas as a leader in mobility and innovation."

On Sunday, Texas Mobility Summit participants and local elected officials had the opportunity to explore some of the transportation technology in use by Arlington and other Texas cities up close. These included electric cars, scooters, bicycles and a commuter bus, self-driving vehicles, a personal delivery robot designed to travel on city sidewalks, and other innovations that aim to improve mobility.

Sunday's demo event included trips on Via, the City of Arlington's on-demand rideshare public transportation option that has booked nearly 75,000 trips since it launched last December. Summit participants interested in autonomous vehicles could also hail a ride with Arlington, who recently partnered with, is the first Texas city to offer on-demand, self-driving shuttle service to the general public.

Mayor Jeff Williams said the answer is simple as to why Arlington has emerged as a leader in transportation innovation in Texas.

"Arlington says "Yes.' Arlington stays open to new technology, invites innovators to our town, and asks them to join with us in exploring our future in transportation technology. We are working on a wide range of innovative transportation initiatives to promote access and mobility for residents and visitors," Williams said. "We will continue leading the way and take advantage of unique and efficient transportation options that become available. We don't wait for big ideas and big projects to happen in Arlington. We go out and get them done."

Arlington isn't the only city interested in exploring the benefits of self-driving vehicles. The North Central Texas Council of Governments is launching an Automated Vehicle 2.0 Program that seeks to identify opportunities to support the efforts of local cities deploy autonomous vehicles in a way that truly benefits their communities.

Transportation initiatives across Texas include:

  • Connected & Automated Vehicles: With its enabling legislation and business-friendly environment, Texas is leading the safe testing and deployment of automated vehicles in a number of real-world environments. The City of Frisco and recently the City of Arlington are engaged in a partnership with to test the on-demand passenger pickup in retail areas. In addition, Houston and Bryan-College Station are launching autonomous shuttle services to improve mobility around university campuses. San Antonio and Austin also have planned initiatives underway to improve connectivity along key corridors. With more than 3,700 deaths on Texas roadways in 2017, Texas is also seeking to improve safety for all travelers by instrumenting the Texas Triangle and major urban intersections (as part of the Texas Connected Freight Corridors initiative and SPaT Challenge) with sensors and wireless communications technology to enable connected vehicle applications such as dynamic routing, wrong way driver warnings, and improved emergency response.
  • Seamless Mobility: As Texas continues its patterns of rapid growth, providing Texans with convenient and affordable mobility options will become increasingly important. Texas cities and transit agencies - DART, DCTA, FWTA, Houston METRO, Capital Metro, and Via Metropolitan Transit Authority - are embracing innovation by developing on-demand service models and new partnerships with the private sector such as Via, Lyft, Uber, and several dockless mobility companies.
  • Real-Time Data: Transportation agencies are saving time, lives, and money across Texas by equipping travelers with information at their fingertips. Whether it is helping drivers to avoid flooded routes in Tarrant County, improving goods movement along congested routes in Corpus Christi, or measuring the economic impacts of transportation initiatives in El Paso, the state is leveraging data to make better planning and investment decisions.

For more information on the Texas Mobility Summit, visit

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