Transportation Leaders Share Real-World Stories Of Digital Transformation

Transportation leaders are facing challenges in providing safe and effective mobility. Road fatalities have reached a 16-year high, extreme weather and climate risks are calling for a more resilient infrastructure, and there’s a growing urgency to address equity gaps. Furthermore, agencies are struggling to attract and retain talent, meaning teams need to be empowered to do more with less. 

Government organizations need modern tools and technology that can deliver insights, speed and scale, so they can focus on bringing their expertise, taking action, and making an impact.

So how can agencies take practical action? At their annual conference, the ITS World Congress in Los Angeles will bring together the intelligent transportation and future mobility communities – from automation and connectivity to mobility and digital infrastructure. On September 18, I will host a roundtable conversation with leaders of transportation agencies across the nation who are using digital tools, including cloud-based platforms and analytics applications powered by artificial intelligence (AI), to drive innovation. 

Here are some examples of how these organizations are future-proofing infrastructure in their regions and transforming their day-to-day operations thanks to cloud technology.

Workforce transformation and streamlining business processes is a top priority at the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT)

“We’ve taken a cloud-first mentality to drive cost efficiency from the top,” says Executive Director Carlos Braceras. “We are setting big goals, like making our operations 100% paperless, and implementing them with digital transformation. This will improve the ease of doing business with UDOT.” UDOT has also centralized all of its data into an advanced data analytics platform.

 This will make it easier for the teams across the UDOT to access the data and insights they need.

Hawaii’s Department of Transportation Highways Division (HIDOT) is leveraging Google Earth Engine and Google Cloud to deploy a Climate Resilience Platform, which helps them assess risk and prioritize investment decisions based on multiple climate risks, asset conditions, and community impact. Deputy Director Ed Sniffen says, “We are taking an integrated approach to climate resilience, safety, and equity. By using data-driven approaches across agencies, levels of government, and with the public, we can empower and enable decision making.”

The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) has built an advanced analytics platform to bring together a wide range of data sources and apply analytics and machine learning to safety, traffic operations, and performance measurement. “CDOT has undergone significant digital infrastructure modernization to enable interoperability, access and analytics using Google Cloud,” says Ashley Nylen, Assistant Director for Mobility Technology within the Office of Innovative Mobility. “We have been able to break down data and organizational silos to make data and information more accessible and usable for our teams. Now we can leverage that information to enable a more reliable, efficient, and clean transportation system as we strive to achieve ambitious statewide greenhouse gas reduction goals.” 

The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) defines equity as the shared and just distribution of transportation infrastructure and services and works to incorporate equity into all stages of project delivery. “Through collaboration with our technology partners and meaningful engagement with stakeholders, DDOT is working to build equity into decision-making for delivery of transportation services and in contracting for projects,” says DDOT Director Everett Lott. “DDOT’s goal is to address gaps in transportation policy and delivery, access to jobs and opportunities, and inclusion of minority-owned businesses in awarding contracts. With better data and insight, we can improve access to jobs and opportunities and streamline business processes to lower the barrier to entry for Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs) and Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs).”

While technology is not the whole answer, it is an important enabler for mission-driven transformation. Each agency may be different in where they start and what areas they tackle. The important thing is to take the first steps in an area that is meaningful to the organization.

To learn more from these transportation leaders about how they are using digital tools to improve safety, climate resilience, and organizational efficiency in their departments, attend our panel on “Making the AI Connection for Next-generation Transportation” at the ITS World Congress on September 18, 2022 or contact our team. Also, pop by meeting room 304C at the Los Angeles Convention Center to meet with our Google Public Sector leadership team during the conference. Click here to learn more about Google Cloud sustainability offerings.

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