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Electrifying Peachtree Corners: City offering community incentives on EV chargers

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This year is turning into a pivotal one for electric vehicle sales as numbers of EVs sold have increased substantially over previous years. For Peachtree Corners residents and business owners in the market for an EV, it also means researching and deciding among the myriad of choices of EV chargers which can be
overwhelming.

To assist the community, a dedicated website, Electrifying Peachtree Corners,” has been developed to provide a guide through charging solution questionnaires and resources to help understand and evaluate EV charging choices. The new website offers special charging solutions that are only available to its residents and businesses.

For the average first-time EV owners, plugging in to a charger seems simple enough but not all chargers are equal. Some chargers can be installed simply by plugging into a standard wall outlet, while others require a custom installation. Then there is the question of speed. How quickly will you need to charge your vehicle; overnight, within a few hours or minutes?

For business owners wading into the EV world, there are even more options. Will the EV charging stations be used to charge an EV fleet for business use, to support employees and to attract customers? Choosing the best EV charging station for business use can be a formidable undertaking.

To understand and analyze the maze of information on EV charging stations, Peachtree Corners city leaders worked with Hubject, an international company promoting emission-free mobility, to issue a request for proposals from electric vehicle supply equipment manufacturers. Through this proposal, the city received responses from 23 electric vehicle charging companies from across the globe. Through this process, the city and Hubject are now able to offer useful information and discounted pricing on charging infrastructure via a dedicated website for its residents and businesses.

“Electric vehicle charging is an important aspect of EV ownership,” said Assistant City Manager Brandon Branham. “The website provides a guide with step-by-step guides that cover all key issues for both residential and business use.”

Recognizing the continued popularity of electric vehicles, last fall the city introduced its 16- vehicle charging plaza located at the Town Center. The plaza is the second largest in the state with 12 Tesla V3 Superchargers, two 350 kW chargers and two 15 kW chargers.

“We are pleased to be able to offer this information to our residents and businesses,” said Mayor Mike Mason. “We continue to strive to live up to the city’s tagline, ‘Innovative and Remarkable’ by offering beneficial technology solutions and opportunities.”

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Tech

French-American Chamber of Commerce (FACC) Makes Peachtree Corners Home

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French Tech Atlanta Reinforces ‘Silicon Orchard’ As Startup Hub

Peachtree Corners – one of the nation’s first smart cities powered by real-world connected infrastructure and 5G – announced that the French-American Chamber of Commerce-Atlanta (FACC-Atlanta) is moving operations from the Consulate General of France to office space within the Innovation Center at Curiosity Lab. In relation, La French Tech – a French government-supported ecosystem of startups, investors, decision-makers and community builders – will expand collaboration with and leverage Peachtree Corners as they guide companies looking to develop technologies and expand into North America.

“French Tech Atlanta and FACC are delighted to join the Curiosity Lab and the overall Peachtree Corners smart city ecosystem. This will enable French startups to collaborate with many innovators and prove out their technology in a unique and live environment, with real city-owned connected infrastructure that cannot be replicated in a laboratory. Overall, La French Tech Atlanta will be another pillar to support existing and blossoming Francophile startups, promote French Tech across the Southeast by broadening cross-Atlantic relationships and help future French startups to grow their business in the United States in the heart of Silicon Orchard,” said President of French Tech Atlanta, Board Member of the French-American Chamber of Commerce and French Trade Advisor (CCE – Conseillers du Commerce Extérieur), Sebastien Lafon

This La French Tech accreditation reflects a larger collaboration between French Foreign Trade Advisors (CCE), the Service for Science and Technology of the French Embassy, the Consulate General of France in Atlanta, Attaché for Cultural Services and FACC-Atlanta to reinforce the region as the premier North American destination for French companies to do business. From FinTech, Biotech, AgroTech, film and gaming to other areas of deep technology and more, startups and mature companies alike from various industries have been building momentum in a region of Metro Atlanta being called “Silicon Orchard.”

“It’s with great excitement that we welcome the French-American Chamber of Commerce, La French Tech Atlanta and all other business ecosystem partners as new members of our community in the City of Peachtree Corners and at Curiosity Lab. It’s no longer a secret that our region is a hot spot attracting immense investment and resources from some of the world’s brightest technology developers and enterprises. We look forward to working with French businesses to help graduate their solutions into the real world and leverage the benefits of operating here – from the most flexible, pro-business city government, our safe and beautiful residential communities to our connected smart city infrastructure that reflects the future of collaboration between government and business,” said Peachtree Corners City Manager, Brian Johnson.

Where Innovation Grows: Launch Event at Curiosity Lab at Peachtree Corners – Sept. 9, 2021

The French-American Chamber of Commerce-Atlanta will celebrate its new home in Peachtree Corners with a launch event:
● Date/Time: Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021
o 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Eastern
● Register for the event: FACC-Atlanta Ribbon Cutting Event Registration Page
● Keynote speaker: Stephan Donze, founder and CEO of French software company, AODocs –
which recently moved its headquarters to the Metro Atlanta region.
● Prominent brands and Peachtree Corners ecosystem partners including T-Mobile, Bosch,
French cloud pioneer, OVHcloud, Beep (autonomous-as-a-service provider) and more.
● Vibrant technology demonstrations reflecting the power of city-owned connected
infrastructure, including cellular vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X) technology. From autonomous
vehicles/machines/drones/services, robotics to sustainable technologies such as solar
roadways developed by French company, Wattway.
● The event adds to a growing number of functions that have taken place in recent months –
featuring stakeholders from the tech ecosystem in Georgia and with a focus of highlighting
the region. Last year, the FACC hosted seven events during “France-Atlanta.”
● Connect with the French technology community in Metro Atlanta:
o La French Tech Atlanta LinkedIn
o French American Chamber of Commerce-Atlanta LinkedIn

For more information or to schedule a briefing with city leaders or officials from the French-American Chamber of Commerce/La French Tech Atlanta, contact Peachtree@GoDRIVEN360.com or julie@faccatlanta.com

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Education

Paul Duke STEM student Teams Up with KSU & Curiosity Lab to Advance V2X Technology

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KSU Research Assistant Professor Billy Kihei (far right) prepares to test V2X technology at Curiosity Lab with local high school and KSU students, including Paul Duke STEM senior Jordan McEntyre (far left)

Last year, Curiosity Lab and Kennesaw State University (KSU) entered a strategic partnership to advance research in vehicle-to-everything (V2X) technology applications. Led by KSU assistant professor of computer engineering Billy Kihei, the first collaboration focused on open-source Dedicated Short-Range Communications Units (DSRC).

Nicknamed the “Owl Box,” these DSRC units can track data such as how fast vehicles are moving, roadway specifications, GPS data and much more, creating opportunities for startups, entrepreneurs, and municipalities/road authorities to test and explore emerging V2X technologies.

KSU selected Curiosity Lab as one of its primary test locations for the Owl Boxes due to the Lab’s autonomous vehicle test track and commitment to supporting and facilitating innovation.

While Dr. Kihei’s research team has primarily included KSU undergraduate students over the last year, Curiosity Lab also connected a Paul Duke STEM High School student with Dr. Kihei. Paul Duke is Curiosity Lab’s STEM partner and is just a mile from the living lab.

Last year, at the start of her senior year of high school, Jordan McEntyre started working with Dr.Kihei. Jordan was taking an AP Research course and reached out to Curiosity Lab to find a research mentor as part of her coursework. Curiosity Lab connected her with Dr. Kihei, who served as her mentor in V2X technology.

Dr. Kihei sent Jordan an Owl Box to configure and tasked her with writing applications for the Owl Box to solve a specific problem. After months of development, Dr. Kihei and Jordan then took her Owl Box on the road at Curiosity Lab to test her applications in a real-world environment. 

“The Owl Boxes allowed me to work with open source technology and make a functioning product out of it, which is an extremely useful experience to have,” said Jordan. “Field testing at Curiosity Lab proved that my program works, but certain factors that came up while testing in this environment gave me ideas to improve my program. I would love to implement those ideas and test it again in a real-world environment.”

Dr. Kihei applauded Jordan’s work as she learned the values of patience and planning.

“It was a long and challenging process for Jordan working with open source technology, but it is important for researchers to be exposed to and work through those types of real-world problems,” said Dr. Kihei. “For example, while a researcher may have an idea to implement, your technology doesn’t always play nicely. It’s not always straightforward.”

Dr. Kihei and Jordan plan to publish a paper together soon, and Jordan plans to start at KSU this year as a computer science major, concentrating on cybersecurity and software development.

“It is crucial for today’s technology leaders to support the education of the next generation of innovators,” said Betsy Plattenburg, executive director of Curiosity Lab. “Through our partnership with Paul Duke, Curiosity Lab is committed to providing Peachtree Corners’ youth with exposure to real world testing of intelligent mobility and smart city technology.”

Source: Curiosity Corner Newsletter

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City Government

Jacobs, Peachtree Corners, and Qualcomm Collaborate to Deploy Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything Technology in the City

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Peachtree Corners and Qualcomm Technologies,

The city of Peachtree Corners and its Curiosity Lab utilize Qualcomm Technologies C-V2X solutions to enable advanced traffic efficiency and roadside safety

JacobsPeachtree Corners and Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. today announced joint efforts to deploy end-to-end smart solutions in one of the nation’s first smart city environments powered by real-world connected vehicle technology and infrastructure. As a part of the working relationship, Qualcomm Technologies serves as ecosystem enabler by providing technology solutions, while Jacobs manages the installation commission project delivery. The program aims to demonstrate the continued momentum of smart cities and spaces, with Peachtree Corners serving as a model for other municipalities as they look to deploy smart solutions and programs.

Peachtree Corners is home to one of the nation’s most advanced smart city ecosystems, with smart connected technologies actively being developed and deployed in real-world conditions. Its Curiosity Lab is home to technology developers and companies enabling the future, while smart connected solutions are being deployed across the community, bringing the region to the forefront in the development of next-generation, Internet of Things (IoT) technologies. Jacobs, Peachtree Corners and Qualcomm Technologies are working together to deploy the company’s technology solutions, focusing initially on roadside infrastructure, traffic management and road safety, with the implementation of Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2X) technology. As a part of the program, the city will work with Commsignia to feature roadside units (RSUs) equipped with Qualcomm Technologies’ C-V2X solution. Utility vehicles equipped with Qualcomm Technologies’ C-V2X solutions will also be utilized to demonstrate vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) direct communications.

The implementation of C-V2X within the smart city environment not only demonstrates the benefits of C-V2X communications in a real-world setting at scale but showcases C-V2X’s safety critical communication capabilities needed to meet the evolving needs of transportation.

“We are pleased to be working with Jacobs and Peachtree Corners to build out a progressive smart city deployment. This implementation further exemplifies the value and leadership in the Qualcomm® Smart Cities Accelerator Program ecosystem and streamlined end-to-end deployment model capabilities,” said Sanjeet Pandit, senior director, business development and global head of Smart Cities, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “This C-V2X program with the Curiosity Lab and Jacobs not only highlights the ability to implement digital road infrastructure to optimize traffic and enable safer streets across global cities, but our continued commitment to offer advanced solutions for traffic safety. This project is paving the way as an example of what communities can replicate and I expect these advanced end-to-end solutions to be an integral part of future smart city and smart connected spaces rollouts.”

“In addition to procuring, installing and testing the Internet of Things infrastructure, we’re bringing planning expertise to help Peachtree Corners realize its smart city vision,” said Jacobs People & Places Solutions Senior Vice President and Regional Director Tom Meinhart. “From procurement to closeout, Jacobs and our partners work to improve safety and connectivity, while enhancing digital infrastructure and smart capabilities in the city.”

C-V2X direct communication is designed to serve as a key feature for safety and mobility applications. Additionally, C-V2X aids in enabling cleaner and sustainable mobility alternatives as the technology is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions between 5-20%, according to the 5GAA.

C-V2X is globally compatible with 5G networks and complements other Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) sensors, such as cameras, radar and Light Detection and Radar (LIDAR). The C-V2X direct communications is designed to offer vehicles low latency communications for vehicles to broadcast to other vehicles, roadside infrastructure and, in the future and with further optimizations, to pedestrians and other vulnerable road users without the involvement of a cellular network, or cellular network subscription, by operating in globally harmonized 5.9 GHz ITS spectrum.

“We’re delighted to welcome Qualcomm Technologies to Peachtree Corners – reinforcing our shared leadership in bringing the smart city vision to life in the United States,” said Brandon Branham, assistant city manager and chief technology officer of Peachtree Corners. “We’ve always stressed the importance of smart connected infrastructure to support all parts of an ecosystem – from autonomous vehicles and shuttles deployed for residents, pedestrians crossing the road, smart traffic management, public safety to other areas of everyday life. Qualcomm Technologies’ industry-leading C-V2X technologies will greatly elevate our infrastructure, making it second-to-none for both technology developers and our residents as we connect more of society and business.”

Through the Qualcomm Smart Cities Accelerator Program, Qualcomm Technologies has acted as a catalyst in enabling end-to-end smart deployments and the digital transformation of smart cities and smart connected spaces globally.  Peachtree Corners intends to roll out additional smart solutions in the future by collaborating with Qualcomm Technologies smart cities ecosystem and Qualcomm® IoT Services Suite verticals.    

For more information on the Peachtree C-V2X project, please log onto Qualcomm C-V2X site. To schedule a briefing with city leadership, contact Peachtree@GoDRIVEN360.com.

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