The Georgia Department of Transportation joined a “public-private-philanthropic partnership” or P4 charter on August 19 with the Federal Highway Administration and The Ray – a corporate venture devoted to roadway technology testing – to collaborate on ways to better use an 18-mile-long portion of Interstate 85 The Ray manages as a “living transportation laboratory.”
“The Ray is a unique opportunity for Georgia DOT and the entire state to lead during a time of great innovation and change in transportation,” said Lynn Westmoreland, a member of Georgia’s transportation board, in a statement.
“This broad partnership is also an opportunity for Georgia to attract economic development, research and development, new jobs and tech start-ups in the transportation and infrastructure sectors,” she added.
Prior to forming this charter, The Ray and Georgia DOT worked together for four years at the direction of two unanimous resolutions approved by the Georgia’s transportation board in 2014 and 2016 to demonstrate several high-profile technology and infrastructure projects, including the first solar road in the U.S., the first drive-over tire safety station in the world, a solar-powered EV charging station, and innovative land management solutions.
“GDOT has enjoyed an innovative relationship with The Ray, one focused on implementation of innovative concepts designed to improve safety and sustainability,” said John Hibbard, GDOT Operations Division director.
This new charter, however, solidifies that partnership and “adds the critical element of federal government involvement and support,” noted said Harriet Langford, president and founder of The Ray.
“FHWA involvement will help us scale nationally and internationally what works and will maximize our impact,” she added.