AllianceTexas’ Mobility Innovation Zone (MIZ) has landed another major deal to solidify its status as a hotpost for commercializing the future of logistics.
Illinois-based ITS ConGlobal, the leading operator of intermodal, finished vehicle, and depot service terminals, is setting up remote trucking operations at the MIZ to explore how workers can train and operate heavy machinery remotely.
Powered by Phantom Auto, a Silicon Valley logistics company that provides software to remotely operate, assist, and supervise vehicles, the project will be used to enhance safety, customer service, operational efficiency and resilience. The deal with AllianceTexas is an extension of ITSC’s partnership with Phantom to develop worker safety and efficiency.
ITSC’s container depot will be located in AllianceTexas just north of Fort Worth. There, the “proving ground” will deploy Phantom-powered yard trucks to test remote operations and train distance drivers.
Phantom is behind a low latency streaming platform that powers ITSC’s onboarding and training of new drivers. With its two-way dialogue feature, the tech gives in-cab trainees at the steering wheel the experience of sitting next to a trainer. On the other end, trainers can see and hear everything happening inside and outside the truck—no matter how far apart.
The same platform is used to remotely operate a truck, according to ITSC. The implementation of the technology at the MIZ, according to leadership, will be “a giant leap forward for the industry.”
“Over the last year and a half, we’ve seen the strain the COVID-19 pandemic has put on the supply chain,” ITSC SVP Rene Etcharren said in a statement. “In order to become more resilient, efficient and future-ready, we have fast-tracked our testing and roll-out of technologies such as artificial intelligence, remote operations, and automation.”
A nexus of mobility innovation
ITSC is the latest in a string of emerging leaders that have settled at the MIZ to advance next generation supply chain technologies.
AllianceTexas includes 27,000 acres of master-planned space that is meant to lead North Texas and the nation forward with the development of futuristic ground and air transportation technologies.
Hillwood, the developer, always had plans to turn the vast spread into an AllianceTexas Mobility Innovation Zone to develop and deploy transportation innovation, from autonomous cars and trucks to high-flying drones. Hillwood wants to leverage the development’s national prominence and name to create a cutting-edge global catalyst for the future of mobility.
Three years since launching, AllianceTexas is an anchor that connects North Texas to global industry. It’s home to Fort Worth Alliance Airport, one of the nation’s premier intermodal hubs, and more than 533 companies.
Fort Worth-based Bell Textron previouly launched its Autonomous Pod Transport operations at AllianceTexas, offering the first point-to-point unmanned aircraft system package delivery demonstration. Autonomous trucking startup TuSimple also has an active presence, offering autonomous trucking operations that run throughout the “Texas Triangle” freight corridor.
Other announced partners currently operating in the MIZ include Kodiak, ITS ConGlobal, BNSF, Phantom, Gatik, Deloitte, and Embark.
In July, Hillwood announced a research partnership between the MIZ and the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) to power the next phase of R&D at the MIZ. TTI will manage strategic initiatives, collaborate with industry leaders to scale and commercialize technologies, and serve as a think tank for new mobility opportunities at AllianceTexas.
“ITSC embodies the type of trailblazing company Hillwood has always envisioned leveraging the MIZ,” Russell Laughlin, executive vice president of Hillwood, said in a statement. “ITSC’s operations at AllianceTexas clearly illustrate how the MIZ platform can accelerate the commercialization of next generation supply chain and logistics technologies, while also improving intermodal efficiency, resiliency and safety.”