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ART’s members include representatives from the partnership’s investors, the business community, local governments, regional planning agencies and chambers of commerce. Also contributing to ART’s mission are partners who implement and manage transportation solutions including Florida Department of Transportation Districts 1 and 5, the region’s airports, Space Florida, NASA, Port Canaveral, Lynx and other transit agencies, the Central Florida Expressway Authority, Florida’s Turnpike, SunRail and Virgin Trains USA. As we continue our rapid growth and receive more visitors each year, it’s imperative we stay focused on moving people both across the region and across the street. We are aware of the trends: autonomous vehicles, advanced robotics, the internet of things … the list goes on. All are disrupters in an economy that is quickly changing how we do business, how we interact and how we travel. How we respond to those disrupters is the challenge we face.

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There are transformative possibilities on the horizon. For example, Orlando was recently selected by the U.S. Department of Transportation as an autonomous vehicle testing ground. This will inspire innovations that can transform our personal and commercial mobility. Autonomous vehicles can expand capacity and improve safety, and the technology is already being tested here. Companies like Luminar are leveraging the intellectual capital in the modeling, simulation and training industry to develop smart sensors that are essentially the eyes of an autonomous vehicle. With the ability to extensively and collaboratively mine regional data, collected from both residents and visitors, Central Florida can establish a well-informed, diverse and inclusive community where everyone prospers. The Orlando region is all about innovation. As technology advances, our wildest dreams are becoming reality. Our future growth demands we take the responsibility for making critical decisions today that ensure we can finance and provide the right infrastructure for tomorrow. From coast to coast in Central Florida, billions of dollars will be needed to expand what we have and create new modes and means of travel. We do this for our future generations. P

Jim Hartmann is a consultant for the Orlando Economic Partnership and its Alliance for Regional Transportation. He has more than 30 years of experience in the public sector and formerly served as the county manager in Seminole County before moving to Raleigh, N.C., where he served as the county manager in Wake County. i4Biz.com | MAY 2019 | 25

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Transportation