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.

Nearly 200 Attend Mayor Mason’s Annual State-of-City Address

From the City of Peachtree Corners

PEACHTREE CORNERS, GA, July 23, 2019: Mayor Mike Mason delivered his annual State of the City Address to a full house on Monday night. Over 180 Peachtree Corners residents and representatives from the business community were on hand to hear his 6th annual address held at the Marriott Hotel on Technology Parkway.

In his presentation, Mayor Mason talked of the city’s vision and pointed to the successful completion of the 21-acre Town Center which has brought people from near and far to shop, dine in one of the 15 new restaurants and take in the sights and sounds of the two-acre Town Green where family activities and outdoor concerts are held.

The mayor spoke about the tremendous success of the new Town Center, which created 28 new businesses and 528 new jobs. The Town Center is expected to bring in $1.3 million in annual sales tax revenue and $15.4 million in annual sales.

He pointed to the rise of home values which are up 10.6%, and the downward trend of office vacancies which has dropped from 25.1% to 19.4%.

Technology Park, which is the economic engine of the city,has seen a significant increase in new technology-based businesses that are moving into the 500-acre park. Some of the recent businesses included Brightree, a cloud-based software company which is moving into the former Honeywell location. The building is currently undergoing major renovations. ASHRAE, a top leader in developing standards and guidelines for indoor-environment control technology,is remodeling and retrofitting the old Recall building into a showcase for its latest HVAC&R.

At his annual address,he noted that the city’s efforts to create a master plan to transform Technology Park, has paid off. First imagined in the 1970s by the city’s founder, Paul Duke,the park, is being re-imagined into an innovation hub. The plan incorporates the addition of research institutions, entrepreneurial training and mentors, professional networks, enhanced walkability, public space and mixed land use.

The city’s plans to add over 11 miles of multi-use trails throughout the city continues. The mayor announced a new section, the Crooked Creek Trail, that is currently in the planning stages. The 2.4-mile section is designed to help spur redevelopment along the Holcomb Bridge Road corridor. The new amenity will connect to nearby Crooked Creek Park in Sandy Springs. A majority of funding for the $2.4 million project will come from federal and state sources along with a $300,000 grant from the ARC.

Additional Highlights:

•The city has invested $20.3 million in infrastructure improvements since 2015 on roads and sidewalks including repaving over 6 lane-miles of city streets and the installation of 3.5 miles of sidewalks just last year.

•City purchased 5.7 acres adjacent to the Town Green which could be developed into a performing arts facility, an expanded Town Green, event or gallery space. The public will be invited to weigh in on the possibilities for this tract of land.

•Construction on the pedestrian bridge will begin in the next few months, the botanical garden will follow.

•Curiosity Lab at Peachtree Corners, the city’s intelligent mobility and smart city living laboratory, is under construction and drawing interest from around the globe. Consisting of a 1.5-mile autonomous vehicle test track and 25,000 square-foot technology incubator, Curiosity Lab is located within Technology Park Atlanta and expected to be complete later this year.

•The city is now one of only three locations where Georgia Tech Professional Education classes are taught on site. Students attend classes to learn computer coding and data science and analytics at Prototype Prime located in Technology Park.

•Work is underway to finish the construction of the multi-use trail around Technology Park Lake and eventually connect to the Town Center.

•The city’s first brewery, Anderby Brewing is opening in Tech Park in late July.

•In 2019 the city’s Finance Department earned two coveted awards: Excellence in Financial Reporting Award and the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award.

•Smart 50 Award: Among the thousands of applicants worldwide, Peachtree Corners won the 2019 Smart 50 Award in the mobility category from Smart Cities Connect for its Curiosity Lab project.

“The state of the city is great,” said Mayor Mike Mason. “Soon, we’ll look at designing the next phase of Town Center, finish constructing the trail around Technology Park Lake and begin work to connect to the Town Center. This year we’ll complete the construction on the autonomous vehicle test track and continue our efforts to incentivize redevelopment in the Holcomb Bridge Road corridor. We will also continue adding amenities to Technology Park such as transportation, recreation, dining, housing and education.”

Curiosity Lab at Peachtree Corners Partners with Smart City Expo Atlanta to Promote Atlanta’s Thriving Autonomous Mobility Ecosystem

From the City of Peachtree Corners

PEACHTREE CORNERS, Ga. –July 22, 2019–Curiosity Lab at Peachtree Corners today announced its strategic partnership with Smart City Expo Atlanta (SCATL) and the grand opening of its 5G enabled autonomous vehicle and smart city living laboratory on the first day of the conference.

SCATL is the only U.S. edition of Smart City Expo World Congress held annually in Barcelona. The conference will bring together more than 2,500 attendees, 200 speakers and 50 exhibitors at the Georgia World Congress Center from Sept 11-13, 2019 to discuss the state of “smart cities” and the technological trends driving their success.

Curiosity Lab is a publicly funded, real-world living laboratory and test bed featuring a one and a half mile autonomous vehicle test track within a 500 acre commercial office park. The Lab offers companies the opportunity to transition unique, innovative technologies from controlled environments into an active community.

“Startups and mature companies around the world are interested in using the Lab’s test track to better understand how their technology operates in a suburban community with people working and living around them,” said Brian Johnson, City Manager for Peachtree Corners. “Our partnership with Smart City Expo Atlanta offers companies the opportunity to demonstrate their technology firsthand and jump-start the Expo. It will also provide citizens and conference attendees a glimpse of what the future test site will look like.”

Conference attendees are invited to view live demos the morning of September 11th and can expect to see drones, autonomous vehicles and other innovative technologies moving about…

“As the Southeast’s largest and most advanced technology hub, Atlanta is a natural location for the development of IoT, mobility, and smart city technology,” said Aarti Tandon, Co-Founder and CEO of Smart City Expo Atlanta. “Our partnership with Curiosity Lab at Peachtree Corners is a transformative way to exhibit real-world IoT technology in action and will help conference attendees visualize the future of their communities. We are thrilled to be working together on this cutting-edge demonstration.”

Those looking to attend Smart City Expo Atlanta can use coupon code UILXATL for a 20 percent discount per ticket here.

About Curiosity Lab at Peachtree Corners: Curiosity Lab is a 5G enabled autonomous vehicle and smart city living laboratory located in Peachtree Corners Georgia, a northern suburb of Atlanta. The centerpiece of the lab is a 1.5-mile test and demo track which provides a real-world environment to explore emerging technologies. Additional infrastructure includes a network operations center, smart poles, DSRC units, dedicated fiber and a 25,000 square foot tech incubator.
About Smart City Expo Atlanta: Smart City Expo Atlanta is the only U.S. edition of Smart City Expo World Congress, held annually in Barcelona.Aligned with Mayor Bottoms’ vision of One Atlanta –an affordable, resilient, and equitable city –SCATL galvanizes the world’s most catalytic thought leaders to address our communities’ most pressing concerns as well as showcasing the extraordinary ways in which cities will continue serving on the front lines of change. At SCATL, delegates, participants, and partners will engage with top government officials, industry leaders, and the foremost members of academia and NGOs while experiencing cutting edge demos and activations at a world class expo and community day.

Thank You for Your Support

With the votes from the runoff election tallied, Peachtree Corners has filled the remaining open seats on the City Council.  Congratulations to Peachtree Corners City Council Members-Elect Alex Wright, Post 3; Jeanne Aulbach, Post 4; and Weare Gratwick, Post 6, on their successful election.  I look forward to joining them along with Mayor-Elect Mike Mason and Peachtree Corners City Council Members-Elect Phil Sadd, Post 1, and Jay Lowe, Post 2, as we create our “City Lite.”

I am pleased to have shared this runoff election with David Proud, Robert Byars, Gray Terry, and Brian Stickney.  Their participation in the Final Candidate Forum helped to bring out the variety of opinions on the issues that the City will face.  I look forward to discussing these issues with you and in Council meetings, taking actions on matters allowed in the City Charter.  We want to make this the best place to Live, Work, and Play.

I am personally grateful for all the support I received from the citizens of Peachtree Corners yesterday.  I was honored to have your votes.  I hope that I can count on you to provide your input on the issues and support for our mayor and all six council members.  We now have much work to do before July 1, 2012.  We’re going to have a fantastic city.

Candidate Q&A Forum

To everyone who attended last night’s forum, thank you for being engaged in the city of Peachtree Corners’ future.  I enjoyed meeting each of you last night at the Forum candidate awareness session.

Thank you UPCCA, Pat Bruschini, and Gay Shook, for coordinating and arranging last night’s event in addition to all the forums during the general election.

The next step is up to you, the community.  We have 4 council positions to be filled.  Please vote on Tuesday, April 3, for your candidates for Posts 3, 4, 5, and 6.  You can request an absentee ballot today or vote early in Lawrenceville starting March 26.

Our city is and will continue to be great because of you and your involvement in our community.  Together we will create a great city.

I would be honored to serve you as your representative in Post 5 – At Large.

Thank you.

Congratulations Peachtree Corners

Peachtree Corner’s first city election has been tallied.  Congratulations to Mayor-Elect Mike Mason and Peachtree Corners City Council Members-Elect Phil Sadd, Post 1, and Jay Lowe, Post 2, on their successful election.

I am pleased to have shared this general election with Joe Sawyer, Stephen Peet, Scott Ehrlich, Gloria Rucks, Brent Johnson, David Leader, and Raymond Cobb.  Their participation in the Candidate Forums and Meet And Greets helped to bring out the variety of opinions on the issues that the City will face.  As Alex Wright; David Proud; Jeanne Aulbach; Robert Byars; Gray Terry; Weare Gratwick; Brian Stickney; and I continue to campaign, we will continue to discuss these issues.  The number of candidates running yesterday is evidence that there are a number in people in our communities who want to make this the best place to Live, Work, and Play.

I am personally grateful for all the support I received from the citizens of Peachtree Corners yesterday.  I was honored to have your votes.  I hope that I can count on you to return to the polls and show your support for our city council candidates in the runoff.  We now have much work to do before the runoff on Tuesday, April 3, 2012.  I look forward to meeting more of you in the coming month.

Get Out and Vote

Today is the very first City of Peachtree Corners Mayoral and City Council Election.  As a candidate for Peachtree Corners City Council, I have been honored to participate in the electoral process and to get to know wonderful candidates with the desire to represent our citizens.  Together we all will build the foundation for the best city in Gwinnett and Georgia.  It has also been my pleasure to meet so many of our city citizens in the election process as they opened their doors to welcome a stranger, and to learn more about our city or share input with me whether they voted for our against the city initially.

Our city future is up to you, the voters in our new city.  Please vote today, it’s up to you to choose the candidates you believe will best represent you.

If you are looking for a place to wait for the returns, please join my team and me at Gino’s New York Pizza starting at 7:30 PM.  Gino’s is located at 5975 Peachtree Pkwy, Peachtree Corners.

My name is Lorri Christopher and I would be grateful for your consideration to serve you as your Peachtree Corners City Council Representative for At Large Post 5.

Please Vote Tomorrow

Please vote tomorrow, Tuesday, March 6.  I wanted to remind you of where I stand and the beliefs I have one more time.  I have been awed by the support and friends made while walking so many neighborhoods.

  1. I believe in the City of Peachtree Corners Charter and the boundaries as agreed upon by the State legislature and the City voters.
  2. I believe in open government and the opportunity for citizens to have an open voice in their government where majority rules.
  3. I firmly believe in open communications and an informed citizenry.
  4. I am a fiscal conservative and believe in fiscal responsibility.
  5. I believe in decisions that bring the most good to our city based are upon the citizen’s choices and input.
  6. I believe in “Building Bridges and Connecting Communities” for the good of all our citizens and businesses in the city.
  7. I believe in you, the voters and citizens of Peachtree Corners and I would be honored to represent you with integrity, openness, and honesty.

These are the positions I have held since I began my campaign and have not wavered in these beliefs.  I wish to serve the citizens and businesses in our community and will invest my time in ensuring an open government that abides by the will of the people in decision making with integrity.  I earnestly ask for your vote on Tuesday, March 6, 2011.  Henry David Thoreau noted “That government is best which governs least.”

My name is Lorri Christopher and I would be grateful for your consideration to serve you as your Peachtree Corners City Council Representative for At Large Post 5.

Advance and Absentee Voting Options

There was a wonderful turn out last evening for the UPCCA Candidate Forum at Christ the King Lutheran Church.  I enjoyed meeting members of our communities from across the city.  One of the items that came up was about advanced and absentee voting options.

Citizens of Peachtree Corners may participate in advance voting through Friday, March 2 at the Gwinnett County Elections Office located at 455 Grayson Highway in Lawrenceville.  The Elections Office is open Monday through Friday from 8:00AM to 5:00PM. Additionally, Gwinnett County will have the following satellite locations open this week from 9:00AM to 7:00PM:

  • Centerville Community Center
    3025 Bethany Church Road
    Snellville, GA 30039
  • George Pierce Park Community Recreation Center
    55 Buford Highway
    Suwanee, GA 30024
  • Dacula Park Activity Building
    2735 Old Auburn Road
    Dacula, GA 30019
  • Lucky Shoals Park Community Recreation Center
    4651 Britt Road
    Norcross, GA 30093

Voters can still request an absentee ballot for the election through March 2.  Gwinnett County must receive a completed application before they issue an absentee ballot.  In order to request an application, you can call the Voter Registration and Elections Division at 678-278-7210 or obtain the form online

My name is Lorri Christopher and I would be grateful for your consideration to serve you as your Peachtree Corners City Council Representative for At Large Post 5.