Researchers at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s Center for Urban Informatics and Progress have been awarded a $1.37 million grant from the National Science Foundation.
The funds will create “Smart Corridor+” along a section of the existing M.L. King Boulevard Smart Corridor, a 1.2-mile stretch in downtown Chattanooga used by CUIP to study traffic flow, public safety and transportation, environmental impacts and other quality-of-life issues.
Through an online portal, researchers from around the world will be able to study Smart Corridor+ through video, high-speed internet connectivity, computer analysis, performance-measuring tools, continuously updated data and other technology to reduce pedestrian injuries and coordinate autonomous and connected vehicles.
“Smart Corridor+ is a major step forward for Chattanooga’s Smart City research community,” said Kevin Comstock, director of Smart City for Chattanooga.
“The city will be able to offer state-of-the-art research technologies to the nation’s top Smart City researchers. It’s a huge win for everyone involved,” he said.
The National Science Foundation grant also provides funds to expand the existing MLK Smart Corridor to include a portion of U.S. 27 and its on and off ramps.
In addition, Smart Corridor+ will be available to high school students in the Chattanooga area, growing education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
CUIP works with university and laboratory researchers across the country, and Smart Corridor+ gives it the capability to collaborate with even more.
“We have been working toward this for some time now, and it wouldn’t have happened without our close collaboration with the city of Chattanooga, EPB and The Enterprise Center,” said CUIP Director Mina Sartipi.
“Securing funding for this initiative is exciting. We want Chattanooga to advance as a hub for smart and connected community research and development,” she said.
Once implemented, Smart Corridor+ will support growing computer science, engineering and Smart City research in Chattanooga.
“CUIP keeps Chattanooga on the cutting edge of smart community work,” said Enterprise Center President Deb Socia. “The Enterprise Center is glad to be a partner, helping to ensure that the voice of the community is represented as our city continues to embrace the opportunities that this testbed enables.”
David Wade, EPB president and CEO, calls Smart Corridor+ “another major step in the effort to utilize Chattanooga’s Smart City infrastructure to research and pioneer solutions that can enhance quality of life for the people in our community.”
“This effort exemplifies how smart infrastructure can serve as a platform for innovation that can really make a difference in people’s lives in terms public safety, improved traffic flow, positive environmental impacts and more,” he said.