City’s Curiosity Lab Opens with Drone-Flying Ribbon Cutting

The 5G-enabled test track brings 21st Century infrastructure to Peachtree Corners.

From the City of Peachtree Corners

PEACHTREE CORNERS, GA, Sept. 17, 2019 – Over 400 guests attended the Grand Opening of the city’s long-awaited autonomous vehicle and smart city test track. Attendees were wowed with displays of the latest 5G and IoT technology during the celebration of the opening of the 1.5-mile testbed, Curiosity Lab at Peachtree Corners. The event was held on Wednesday, Sept. 11 at Peachtree Corners City Hall.

The day began with a drone-flying ribbon cutting, courtesy of students from the nearby Paul Duke STEM High School. The event attracted state, county and local leaders including Georgia’s Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and Georgia Department of Transportation Chair Ann Purcell. Also joining the celebration was the city’s partners, Sprint Business’s president, Jan Geldmacher and Georgia Power’s president, Paul Bowers. Additionally, the city’s mayor and council, state insurance commissioner, John King, the city manager, Brian Johnson and Curiosity Lab board member, Wayne Hodges were on hand to cut the ribbon.

“We’re proud to showcase our city and the first living lab of its kind to open in the United States,”said Mayor Mike Mason of the city-owned project. “We invite businesses and startups alike to use Curiosity Lab at Peachtree Corners to test their intelligent mobility and smart city technologies.”

The unique ribbon-cutting event was followed by an array of outdoor and indoor demonstrations showing off the latest technologies. On display was Local Motors’ Olli, a 10-seat fully automated shuttle, Tortoise’s teleoperated e-scooter, and Valqari’s autonomous drone capable of delivering food and other items.

Also showing off 21st century technological ingenuity was CloudMinds’ human-like service robot,named “Pepper,” Softbank Robotics’ autonomous floor cleaner named “Little,” Georgia Power’s Smart Light Poles with built-in connectivity for smart city infrastructure, Mercedes Benz’s MBUX model and Kia’s futuristic HabaNiro concept car.

Guests also got a peek into the future of other autonomous applications including a mobile kitchen solution by Reef Kitchens and an autonomous lawnmower by Greenzie.

“Curiosity Lab at Peachtree Corners provides a first-of-its-kind opportunity to test in a real-world environment,” said city manager Brian Johnson. “The track provides interaction with human-driven vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists and other challenging elements encountered on public streets every day. This living laboratory allows testing for robotics, artificial intelligence, intelligent mobility and other applications to test in real-world conditions.”

The grand opening was part of the kickoff to the first Smart City Expo Atlanta, held at the World Congress Center Sept. 11-13.

Corporations have already taken an interest in partnering with Curiosity Lab. Along with current partners Sprint, Georgia Power, Georgia Tech and The Ray, Delta announced recently it would join Georgia Tech in funding research at Curiosity Lab for future AV technologies applicable to the airline’s ground transportation needs.

Published by Lorri C

Candidate for Peachtree Corners Council - At Large Post 5

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