Virginia Tech and City of Falls Church to partner on ‘Smart City’ test bed

Virginia

FALLS CHURCH, Va. (WDVM) — Virginia Tech, the city of Falls Church and the DMV are in partnership to develop a “Smart City Test Bed” to improve commuting and transportation solutions.

The project will bring transportation solutions to Falls Church off Haycock road, such as parking garage utilization indicators, adaptive lighting, autonomous vehicles and reducing pollution and traffic congestion to improve the public’s safety.

Dr. Mike Mollenhauer, Director of Technology Implementation at VT, said, “We’re trying to capitalize on private sector investment in the area, job creation, a lot of the other benefits. If we can create something that’s sustainable like an environment where people can come and try out technologies and we can help them understand the benefits: that’s really what we’re after.”

According to officials, the biennial budget recently approved by the General Assembly includes $10 million to support the project. A request was submitted and championed by Sen. Dick Saslaw.

Officials said they expect work to start in the next 3-5 years. The test bed will also include a new road bisecting the Virginia Tech Falls Church campus, connecting Virginia route 7 to the West Falls Church Washington Metro Area Transit Authority site and the surrounding West Falls Church development.

Gov. Ralph Northam must still sign the budget, and the General Assembly will reconvene on April 7 to consider any amendments or other actions proposed by the governor.

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