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  • Writer's pictureNATALIA SOUSA

Long Beach and Mercedes Benz partner on Urban Mobility through Connected Vehicle Data Project.

The City of Long Beach has entered into a public-private partnership with Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America, with Mercedes-Benz USA Urban Mobility Solutions, and Xtelligent. Together they plan to develop transportation technology systems that will improve urban transportation management and enhance liveability and environmental sustainability in and around the City.

"This public-private partnership will keep Long Beach at the forefront of emerging transportation technologies," said Mayor Robert Garcia. "This project will showcase our city's skilled workforce, provide more STEM learning opportunities for students, and represents our city's continued commitment to building a focused technology ecosystem."

The public-private project will span 10 months and will include:

  • Testing an intelligent intersection control system to adapt traffic signal timing at select intersections safely

  • Data analysis from connected test vehicle fleets and existing physical sensors around the City to provide information that may improve future transportation policy and traffic engineering decisions

  • A community youth workshop for Long Beach residents and students

In alignment with the Long Beach Accelerator Program, the partnership supports the City's efforts to work with local businesses on leading-edge technology and civic impact while also cultivating science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) opportunities for Long Beach students. In addition, health and safety permitting, a community-based workshop will provide STEM education to local students, emphasizing under-resourced communities.

The project is also part of Long Beach's Smart City Initiative to leverage data and technology as strategic tools to solve challenges and improve the lives of Long Beach residents.

The public-private partnership with Mercedes-Benz and Xtelligent reflects Long Beach's vision to advance environmental sustainability and digital inclusion to ensure that everyone has equitable access and use of digital literacy training, the internet, technology devices and other digital inclusion resources. Solving transportation challenges is also a focus of Mercedes-Benz. This unique partnership offers the ability to potentially solve genuine issues — congestion and its associated emissions — in urban areas.

"We are excited to partner with Xtelligent and the City of Long Beach to research solutions to urban transportation challenges. With our test vehicle fleet, we hope to provide key data to optimize traffic signal timing and reduce congestion," said Philipp Skogstad, CEO of Mercedes-Benz Research and Development North America.

Data protection is a top priority for Mercedes-Benz, Xtelligent and the City, and the parties are committed to using data responsibly. Mercedes-Benz and Xtelligent will only share test vehicle data with appropriate notices and consents, and any data that must be shared with third parties will be anonymized and aggregated. This project is a joint effort between the City's Technology and Innovation Department, Public Works Department and Economic Development Department.

"This partnership represents the best of what a forward-thinking city, leading automotive original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and innovative venture can uniquely enable when collaborating towards a common, worthwhile goal," said Michael Lim, cofounder of Xtelligent. "We're excited to use our collective resources to develop and demonstrate how technology can improve the liveability, vitality, and sustainability of Long Beach."

Upon the pilot's conclusion, the team will evaluate results and explore opportunities to scale the effort.

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