Vanderbilt Hosts National Smart Technology Meeting for Community Enhancement

Vanderbilt University recently hosted a national meeting focused on using smart technology to solve community problems.

Vanderbilt Hosts National Smart Technology Meeting for Community Enhancement

Principal Investigators from around the country recently attended the national Smart and Connected Communities PI meeting held at Vanderbilt that highlighted how the university is collaborating in the use of smart transportation technology to meet community needs.

The PI meetings, which are held annually by the National Science Foundation, have traditionally been in Washington, D.C. But Vanderbilt researchers who helped organize the meeting said the university was chosen to host the event partly because of its nationally recognized work with community partners like Metro Nashville and the Chattanooga Area Regional Transportation Agency.

Vanderbilt is also the lead institution for the Smart and Connected Communities Virtual Organization that helps manage various aspects of the SCC program.

The event showcased the special partnership between Vanderbilt University and its dedication to working with community partners, ensuring that advances in AI and engineering are used for the benefit of the community. Vanderbilt researchers are at the forefront of these kinds of partnerships.

About 250 PIs from various universities attended the event that included an address from Nashville Mayor Freddie O’Connell on the benefits of academic and community partnerships. O’Connell stated that the vision for the future is a smarter and more connected Nashville, a more livable city for residents, and that better use of technology and coordination with partners can help achieve that goal.

The meeting mainly focused on how AI and cyber-physical systems can help improve life and solve community problems by taking engineering from the lab to the community. Vanderbilt and Metro Nashville have been working together for nearly a decade on various projects involving public transit optimization, traffic management, emergency response systems, and AI-powered driving simulators for autistic individuals.

Vanderbilt Professors Jonathan Sprinkle and Dan Work, who are part of the Institute for Software Integrated Systems, were the main organizers of the SCC meeting in Nashville. They look forward to even more partnerships as they seek additional innovative ways to meet the needs of the community.

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