Self-driving trucks, drones among new transportation technologies under development at AllianceTexas

AllianceTexas is a driver behind industrial development in northeast Tarrant County.

AllianceTexas is a driver behind industrial development in northeast Tarrant County.

Real estate developer Hillwood announced June 10 plans to create a center that will encourage the development of new transportation technology. The AllianceTexas Mobility Innovation Zone will be located at AllianceTexas, a mixed-use development in northeast Fort Worth, and already has two projects in the works.

Already, the Mobility Innovation Zone is developing a technology that will allow shipping containers to move throughout AllianceTexas using self-driving trucks. Another project aims to test the usage of drones.

AllianceTexas is home to more than 500 companies, including large transportation and logistics businesses. Among its transportation hubs are Fort Worth Alliance Airport, BNSF Railway’s Alliance Intermodal Facility and the FedEx Southwest Regional Sort Hub. Amazon Air is also bringing a regional air hub to Alliance Airport, where it will operate daily flights and have the ability to sort packages.

Additionally, AllianceTexas is home to the Federal Aviation Administration’s Southwest Regional Headquarters, and the development spans across 162 miles of major highways, according to a news release.

With its roster of transportation-related businesses and developments, AllianceTexas plans to use the Mobility Innovation Zone to develop, test and commercialize new surface and air transportation technology.

“Creating the Mobility Innovation Zone is the next step in the natural evolution of AllianceTexas,” Hillwood President Mike Berry said in a news release. “With a solid transportation foundation already in place and our knowledge of new technologies being developed for the future of mobility, AllianceTexas is the perfect location for the first fully integrated mobility testbed.”

Hillwood is partnering with consulting firm Deloitte’s Future of Mobility Global Practice team to develop the Mobility Innovation Zone.

Hillwood has invested in transportation and technology at its other developments across North Texas. It has partnered with Uber to construct a skyport at Frisco Station in Frisco. The skyport will allow Uber to offer flights in North Texas in addition to its ground taxi services.

A partnership with AT&T has also allowed Hillwood to bring 5G Evolution technology to Frisco Station. The technology allows smartphone users to have better signal and Wi-Fi capabilities at the development. Hillwood is working to expand those capabilities to AllianceTexas.
By Korri Kezar
Korri Kezar graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2011 with a degree in journalism. She worked for Community Impact Newspaper's Round Rock-Pflugerville-Hutto edition for two years before moving to Dallas. Five years later, she returned to the company to launch Community Impact Newspaper's Keller-Roanoke-Northeast Fort Worth edition, where she covers local government, development, transportation and a variety of other topics. She has also worked at the San Antonio Express-News, Austin-American Statesman and Dallas Business Journal.


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