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Peachtree Corners opens ‘America’s first’ 5G-powered smart city tech proving ground

The City of Peachtree Corners, in the state of Georgia, has opened what is claimed to be “America’s first 5G-powered smart city tech proving ground”.

Curiosity Lab at Peachtree Corners, powered exclusively by True Mobile 5G from Sprint, enables companies to prove out emerging technologies in a living environment with smart city infrastructure, next-generation connectivity and real-world conditions.

Sprint says the “groundbreaking” Curiosity IoT dedicated network and advanced operating system is poised to enable a new world of applications.

The technologies and companies which will be taking part in the initiative include:

  • Kia autonomous vehicles;
  • CloudMinds robots;
  • Olli self-driving shuttles;
  • Valqari drones;
  • Greenzie autonomous lawnmowers;
  • Valmont smart light poles; and
  • Tortoise teleoperated e-scooters.

Georgia Lt Governor Geoff Duncan is to open the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the 1.5-mile autonomous test track located within the existing 500-acre technology park. The ceremony will take place on September 11th, at 9.30 am EST.

The organisers say the applications and technologies at the centre “will change the way people live and the way businesses operate in the near future”.

Brian Johnson, city manager for Peachtree Corners, says: “Companies that are paving the way forward with next-generation IoT technologies have been missing one step in the development process: a living laboratory environment to test the technology that has graduated from a controlled laboratory environment.

“Curiosity Lab at Peachtree Corners provides a first-of-its-kind, real-world testing environment to prove out these technologies – creating realistic conditions that enable robotics, artificial intelligence solutions, autonomous services and countless more use cases to be optimized and ultimately scaled for the suburban and urban landscapes of tomorrow.”

More about the technologies and companies taking part:

  • Autonomous machines and services – illustrating the future at Curiosity Lab.
  • Olli, the world’s first co-created, self-driving, electric shuttle, will transport guests – Local Motors.
  • Autonomous drones delivering packages – Autonodyne and Valqari.
  • Teleoperated e-scooter – Tortoise.
  • Humanlike service robot with artificial intelligence in the cloud and a virtual avatar – CloudMinds Technologies.
  • Cloud Pepper is a humanoid robot – customized by CloudMinds – based on SoftBank Robotics’ “Pepper”, the world’s first personal humanoid robot.
  • “Cloudia” digital avatar is a branded virtual personality on screens used across retail, hospitality and additional industries.
  • Autonomous vehicles and leading automotive technologies from Kia:
  • The Kia HabaNiro concept car – featuring all-electric design, augmented reality experiences and autonomous driving capabilities
  • The Kia Telluride midsize SUV – with autonomous technologies
  • Mercedes-Benz will be at the event showcasing their MBUX
  • Smart delivery-only kitchen solution by Reef Kitchens
  • Autonomous commercial lawnmowers – Greenzie
  • Smart light poles with built-in connectivity for smart city infrastructure – Valmont Industries

Sprint says its Curiosity IoT 5G network is designed specifically for smart cities and IoT technologies.

Curiosity IoT is described as a dedicated low latency network, coupled with an operating system purpose-built for IoT/connected devices and complemented by LTE / 5G / LPWA Cat M connectivity.

Designed to generate invaluable business intelligence from massive amounts of test data generated by IoT devices.

The Smart Power Solutions will be supplied by Georgia Power, which has been instrumental in the development of the lab by delivering smart power solutions for electric vehicle charging, smart streetlights and more.

The “Advanced Mobility Corridor” features:

  • A 1.5-mile track for testing autonomous vehicles and machines, complete with next-generation infrastructure – such as “smart pole” solutions and other fixtures with built-in sensors/small cells for connectivity
  • Pedestrian sidewalks and several bus stops are configured to demonstrate “smart transit” solutions
  • 13-degree slope with curve – critical for advanced autonomous machine use case testing
  • Technology Incubator Inside an Existing 500-Acre Technology Park:
  • 25,000-square-foot technology development space with hardware labs, classrooms, conference rooms and other facilities
  • Hotels, offices, retail locations and additional facilities