The Missouri Department of Transportation is looking to Kansas City-based Integrated Roadways for its tech and Internet of Things insight.
As part of a 15-year agreement, the firm will serve as the department’s “IoT broker” and will build and operate a testing lab that will enable Missouri to explore the top mobile-Internet innovations, Integrated Roadways founder Tim Sylvester said. The “Strategic Technology Integration Lab” will be located adjacent to Interstate-49 to help MoDOT identify, test, evaluate and implement IoT technologies around the state.
Integrated Roadways created patented smart pavement with embedded IoT technology that creates longer-lasting roads and reduces roadway expenses.
Sylvester said the agreement with Missouri affords Integrated Roadways valuable access to not only new technologies but also top decision-makers in Missouri.
“The department will be looking to us explicitly to evaluate interesting technologies and make recommendations,” Sylvester said. “We will be at the forefront of mobile IOT services in the state of Missouri for at least the next 15 years, because we’ll be providing the venue through which those technologies will be tested by MoDOT.”
Integrated Roadways’ prefabricated concrete slabs contain embedded components that provide connected cars wireless connectivity on roads, highways and interstates.
Integrated Roadways also paves the way to revenue opportunities for cash-strapped city, state and federal departments of transportation. The company’s smart pavement would allow it to charge drivers and passengers for connectivity. The roads themselves would also be able to communicate directly with autonomous vehicles, such as Tesla’s or Google’s self-driving cars.
In addition to the Departments of Transportation in Kansas and Missouri, the company also is working now with the Colorado Department of Transportation to install smart pavement that will automatically detect run-off-the-road accidents and call for help.
In addition to a great opportunity for his firm, Sylvester said that the agreement will open Missouri up to the prospect of becoming a national testbed for IoT. The agreement will bring together an array of talent for smart infrastructure in the private and public sector, including the City of Kansas City, the University of Missouri System, the National Science Foundation and other private companies. Integrated Roadways already is working with MoDOT on its Road to Tomorrow projects, an initiative to restore I-70 and integrate new transportation technology.
Sylvester said that the future of smart infrastructure is bright in Kansas City, which bodes well for its entire entrepreneurial community.
“From every angle, Kansas City is positioned to become a powerhouse in Smart Cities and autonomous (vehicles) and this is one more big notch in our collective belt,” Sylvester said. “By creating a talent density around autonomous vehicle networking here in Kansas City, we are positioning Kansas City to be the epicenter of infrastructure and network services to support connected and autonomous vehicles. We’ll never beat Silicon Valley at its own game but we can beat it at the next version of the game.”
Founded in 2012, Integrated Roadways in July was named a “Top 10 Under-the-Radar Startup” by Startland News.