Speaker 1  

Ladies and gentlemen please welcome to the stage our public private partnerships to create Smart Cities panel


Kristin Musulin  

Hello, everyone, thank you all so much for joining us for this last session before lunch. I hope you all have had a good CS week so far exploring the vast exhibit halls and the various discussions that we're going to offer particularly around the topic of smart cities. So through CSS Smart Cities track you may have sat in on panels regarding security or infrastructure. But today we're here to discuss what I think is the bread and butter of smart cities, which is public private partnerships. My name is Kristin Musulin and I am the editor of smart cities dive and we're a publication that delivers news insights and trend analysis to folks who work in local governments, or who work in the private sector to develop products and solutions to local governments, all to create more connected and Resilient Cities and through a few years of covering this space. I've learned that not much progress happens in cities where governments work alone. Behind every Smart City is a number of private sector or academic partners who support local governments. And this act of partnership has helped to accelerate some of the most transformative projects that we've seen an urban landscapes. So just to get a feel for the crowd, I'm curious how many folks in here have either work done or have helped foster a public private partnership? Anyone? Good. Alright, so we have some experts in here. And we also have a full panel of experts up here beside me, who are going to help sort of set that stage today. So to my left, we have for Prashanthi Raman, the head of state and local government relations at Lyft. We have Chris Reeves, head of connected autonomous vehicle technologies at her Horiba Mira. So Sokwoo Rhee, the associate director for cyber physical systems innovation at NIST, and Chris, Craig The Deputy Director of Information Technologies for the city of Las Vegas. So to start off, I'm going to have each of you share with us a little bit about yourself and your role as it relates to smart cities. So if you want to kick us off, right.


Prashanthi Raman  

thanks for having us to CTA as we'll see. Yes. And then Kristen, I'm very happy to talk with you all this morning. Again, I'm push on the ramen. Just a quick show of hands who's taken rideshare here. I know, who takes it at least once a week to work? A little less than my stat but that's okay. Or a little less than 50% of individuals take rideshare to to commute to work as far as to a public transit stop. So, really interested in talking to more about how we partner with first and last mile solutions but a little bit about me. I have been with the company for around five years. My main responsibility is to oversea North America's government relations, which means we work with government agencies and elected officials to see and shape the regulatory framework that helps us helps us operate and has helped a ridesharing become so ubiquitous. So looking forward to the conversation today.


Kristin Musulin  

Thank you, Chris.


Chris Reeves  

Well, thank you for welcoming me. As you realize from my accent, I'm not from the US. So here from the UK, I work for an engineering consultancy firm called Horiba Mira. And there I'm responsible for connecting and autonomous vehicle technologies. And part of that responsibility is trying to understand the safety aspects of security aspects and the functional performance of these technologies. But as part of my role, I'm also the program director for her Reaper marez interactions in a major UK government's initiative, which is related, which is called the caf test. Thank you. UK. And that's working out a highly collaborative manner within approximately 100 mile geographical location to establish the infrastructure and the facilities to enable the deployment of these technologies. And that's working. So we have a testbed being created in London. And we have test beds created within controlled environments, classically known within the automotive industry is proving grounds. But they're not proving as a controlled environments where we can experiment with these technologies, but also working with the public environments. So with London, that's a public environment. But we're also working very closely with the West Midlands in the UK, which is the heart of the automotive industry, and particularly with the Birmingham and Coventry cities, where we create in test environments where we can actually then engage with the public and take these systems out and work closely with Public because we believe public engagement and bringing the consumer along with us is increasingly important. And this is working as girl with government agencies with academia and industry. And the UK is set up a government department known as the Center for connected autonomous vehicles, which is coordinating this at a government level. But within the program of activity, it's highly collaborative. Again, working with universities, working with industries, working with government and local authorities to bring this highly collaborative nature. And with industry, we're talking about communication providers, infrastructure providers, all are part of the solution to enable this whole Smart City agenda to actually be delivered.

 

Kristin Musulin  

Great. Thank you. Sokwoo.


Sokwoo Rhee  

All right. Are you everybody? Hey, good to see some response here. So I'm sitting Sokwoo and I work for the National Institute of Standards and Technology. For those who are not familiar with that it is a US Agency, which is part of the US Department of Commerce. We are a Technology Agency inside of the Commerce Department. And I'm in charge of their smart city program and a portion of IoT initiative. And at the at the same time, I also help coordinate the the Smart City different Smart City programs instead of more than a dozen US federal agencies. As you can imagine, a smart city does not belong to just one agency. It is it cuts across almost every agency you can think of and probably same for the cities to not just the federal government. So it is actually a fairly interesting to observe the how these different agencies work together or they should work together. I my background is a little bit interest. I joined a government about six years ago, but before that, I was an printer, I was startup guy who started a company on IoT about about almost, almost 20 years ago now. And then we didn't call the IoT at the time we call the wireless sensor networks. And then, you know, sold a company and then joined the government's. So I'm doing I'm happy to be here. Happy to see all of you actually, and is amazing to see this room grow. Two years ago, when you first started the Smart City session at CES. It was probably half of this size the room but now I just just happy to see all of it. I moved to LA my job at NIST is actually not just standards. I work on public private partnership. I run a collaboration platform called the global city teams challenge. I also create Smart Cities and Communities framework. I work with about 200 cities in the world, about hundred of them, the United States, and about 500 companies, universities, nonprofits related to smart cities.


Chris Craig  

Thank you, everybody. I'm Chris Craig. I'm the Deputy for technologies director for the city of Las Vegas, which gives me a unique perspective on things because I'm allowed to work in the public space with citizens as well as corporations. My day to day job is to manage the operations of the city of Las Vegas from an IT perspective. But I also share responsibility for the International Innovation Center at Las Vegas, which we like to think is the premier p3 opportunity in the state of Nevada. We've opened the center downtown, and we invite each and every one of you, including those on the livestream to come and visit the international Innovation Center at Vegas. We have several companies in there that we've partnered with the new pilot programs and to do exactly what we've talked about here and what we're going to be talking about today, to create partnerships to build a better community to diversify our economies and find better ways to create job opportunities for those coming out of the higher education realm. So looking forward to speaking with you all today.


Kristin Musulin  

Great, thank you. So let's start off with that conversation about approaching the run. p3 for you. So opportunities for cities now or countless when it comes to the number of vendors and companies that are out there that are willing to partner with cities. So Chris, speaking from a city perspective, how do you sort of shop around and decide who the best partner best company is to partner with when there's so many options?


Chris Craig  

That's an excellent question. And there are a lot of options. That's the interesting part about it. We have a lot that come to us, so we don't necessarily have to shop so much. We created an innovation district in our downtown area that was sponsored by our city council on or its executive management within the city. That innovation district allows us to do pilot projects with companies in a real world environment where they may not otherwise have the opportunity. But in order to do that we have to have a vetting process or a way to determine is that technology going to be beneficial to our community? Is it going to support the economy? Is there going to be job growth for that technology in the future, and it's not always about technology, perhaps there's a solution that really has nothing to do with technology that could lead to vested in the innovation district, we also look at those. But we look at the social aspects of the the product or solution or company. We look at the economic impact health and wellness, for instance, those sorts of things that benefit a community to build and make life better for its citizens, as well as the partnership with the organization. It's not just about us a true partnership works both ways. And we firmly believe that. So we do have somewhat of a vetting process, but our doors are open to everybody to come and chat with us.


Kristin Musulin  

Anyone else want to add on to that?


Sokwoo Rhee  

Yeah, so I've seen a number of different types of public private partnerships, but it always ends up having two sides of the story. So one is like city, you always have looked at the quality of life. That's the what, that's what cities do. And you have to look at how residents and their citizens are now coming from companies. They have a very different perspective. They're talking about technology, they're talking about products. So there is some kind of mismatch in between and that's that's the same for everyone. Every project in the world, the successful p3 that I've seen is comes down to who's going to be able to resolve this, this this mismatch in between the sales of cycle and the price issues and legal rules and technology advancement. So, as types of successful p3 is they have seen that always comes down to resolving this conflict. 


Kristin Musulin  

Good. So speaking from the private sector side for Shanthi, a company like Lyft is partnering with hundreds of cities to make sure that your your services are available. So how do you manage that number of partnerships and ensure that the cities are getting what they need for their own unique needs and budgets and the people that they have?


Prashanthi Raman  

Right? I think that's a fantastic question because I think it's so important to understand that as, as the private sector we have to understand what our superpower is to be able to dedicate and to focus on what we can provide that public But that public agency and for us at lift its its transportation. And so one one of the things that we really look for in a partner is someone where we're going to be able to utilize the superpower that we have transportation to break down a barrier or to help help achieve a certain goal. And that goal setting is really something that we look at to have the public agency set forth. Is it cost savings? Is it larger coverage? Is it reliable service? Is it something else and we really have been able to be extraordinarily successful in having those individualized approaches across various cities and agencies because not everyone is going to need the same thing. And so we have been able to establish partnerships that are broad broad range, for example, I ever alluded to a little bit of that first mile solution. First last mile solution. Places like Las Vegas with RTA and a company like fanatics. We can we can We can marry the two and be able to get people to and from a map a mass transit agency. We also look to see if there's curb space issues. How can we work with the agency to figure out if there's congestion, we are looking and we are working around in a dozen cities right now for our bike share program to take up parking spaces to utilize it so it doesn't confuse the bike and pedestrian ways. And so really, we try to be a creative thought partner in in with with the public agency, as well as trying to be a collaborator and never being afraid to iterate the process. When you have a pilot program. It's a proof of concept piece. We always know if they're going to be tweaks to make and we come into it very open and honest with that and that's how we are a we've been able to be very successful and over 70 various partner p3 partnership p3 is as well as you know, we are known for multi year contract x, because we've been able to work with, with agencies across the country.


Kristin Musulin  

Good. Chris, would you agree with all that?


Chris Reeves  

Yeah, absolutely. But also talk about something else, not just the three piece that the three C's collaboration, collaboration, collaboration. That's really important in this as well. I think picking up what Chris was saying as well, it's really important to have a good understanding of the roadmap from everyone's perspective, so you can understand the how you can interjecting that roadmap. So some of the work that we've been doing in the UK, there's an organization called centric, which is essentially the custodian of the testbed activity and bringing together all those collaborative partners. But they've created a roadmap for connected and automated mobility, which gives industry government, academia, startups who have that you need to collaborate with an indication of where they can interject into where the requirements sit and what the technology can do to meet those requirements. And that's proved really important documents. So people have an understanding of where they fit into the supply chain.


Kristin Musulin  

And so in the spirit of making sure that partnerships are meeting the needs of cities and of the private sector, a conversation we were having right before this panel was about the term smart cities. And what does that mean. And it's important to understand that smart cities is not just your major urban hubs on the coast, it includes small towns, small cities that are also pushing toward the same goals that larger cities have. And we were saying that the small cities and towns sometimes have a harder time with P threes approaching those than large cities do maybe because of costs or resources. So could you elaborate on that? So?


Sokwoo Rhee  

Yeah, so out of the in the United States, there are about 19,000 towns and cities and jurisdictions. About only 10 of them have more than a million population. So what that means is rest of them are much lower than that. And frankly, most of the cities that I can say most that I work with are below hundred thousand or 50,000. And some of those cities are actually even less than 5000 people living there. But they all strive to become a smart city or smart town or smart community or whatever you call it. The question just comes down to a problem is the smaller city becomes it becomes less attractive for private sector partners to work with them. And it's very understandable. I also talked to a lot of private sector companies and they say I it's hard for them to work with 10s and thousands of these smaller cities when there is a couple big cities that they can expect a much bigger revenue stream. The problem there is that there's obviously there's a digital divide and all this ethics issue so come in but the same time vendors perspective they are missing opportunity. Okay, so the question comes down to is how what is the mechanism that we can encourage? Or what is the mechanism we can have in place for these smaller towns and, and when I say towns, I'm not even talking about urban towns we can talk about agriculture is a big issue agriculture, rural broadband, and also telemedicine. And these things have to be supported and somehow be resolved. And, you know, certainly I've seen a lot of great examples and at least attempts to address those gaps and certainly happy to talk about it.


Kristin Musulin  

Would anyone like to add to that?


Prashanthi Raman  

Yeah, I would, thank you. Um, you know, I think from from this perspective, utilizing technology, technology that if self is agnostic, but it is how we use it, that creates the value. And I think for one of our pillars that we look at when we look to a partnership is really that having a priority of equity and make Making sure that while we are providing a ride sharing space that is also in an equitable way. So we have looked into working with hearing and vision impaired national federations and associations to make sure that our technology is is usable. We also are, you know, we're have a concept called concierge which is a web portal for individuals who either don't have smartphones or even cell phones. And we have partnerships with paratransit agencies as well as provide with food with places to get food, food Access Center, so food think grocery access for individuals who can't access fresh food, especially in those areas that you suggested that are so rural and don't have to have food deserts. What's the number one reason that they don't have that as transportation to those in due to those food areas? And so we really concentrate on seeing how we can use this technique. ology that is our platform to ensure that people can use it equally across the board. And so we love to have those conversations because it really does exercise and challenge us to pull on our, our strings a little bit more to make sure that we are approaching it in a thoughtful and creativeway. 


Kristin Musulin  

Great. And I love that you brought up the concept of equity and how crucial that is in partnerships. Because if you are rolling out new efforts and new initiatives through a partnership, it's so important to have everyone be impacted by it and have everyone as a part of that conversation and as a as a beneficiary to the partnership that you're working on. And so I think that's a crucial note. And speaking of bringing in public engagement. Chris, when we spoke a couple weeks ago, you talked about the importance of making sure that the public and the consumers are on board and understand partnerships, and you talked about needing a consumer pole instead of a tech push. So can you elaborate on that a little bit of why it's so important to make sure that the public understands what the average we're trying to make.


Chris Reeves  

Yeah, certainly a thought to pick up a point as might as well. And one of the big benefits of this technology is around social inclusion. And we have to make sure that that was broad approach to that. And so some of the things that we were doing in the UK is creating those enabled environments where we're not just looking at the cities, but we're looking at the urban the inter urban and what we call the strategic road networks, and then try to understand what the pinch points are around those interfaces. And but going back, what is really important is to engage the consumer and members of society and all members of society, particularly with connected and automated mobility, so that they can actually warm to this technology. Ultimately, they are going to be the consumer and I are going to be paying for this. So they have to be brought along on the journey. As well as just pushing the technology towards them. And we have to look at this from the perspective, and not just how we've designed the technology, but also how the consumer is actually going to use it. And they're very different things are quite often that different things. So we have planned programs of activity, to take it up to pre deployment trials, so that the public can actually interface with this. And then basically, develop the skills and the understanding and educate the public and how it can actually be a benefit to that. That's a really critical step to enable us to take these to commercial solutions.


Kristin Musulin  

Good. And, Chris, from the city perspective, what responsibility Do you think city should have in bringing your residents into the conversation?


Chris Craig  

Well, we're really responsible for making sure our citizens are set feel safe and secure in their communities and that they have access to the resources that They need when they need them. That's really what we're here for. And we wouldn't have jobs if it wasn't for the citizens, and if we're not providing for them what they need. So when we look at technologies and solutions, education is a big part of that, how do we educate our public about how this positively benefits them in their daily lives. And that's really what we try to focus on. And that's why we have the Social and Health and Wellness aspects to our criteria when we look at these types of partnerships, because it's very important to reach our citizens at that level so that they have a full understanding of what we're providing to them. Otherwise, they're, they're just questioning and they have every right to question that's, that's what we're here for. And that's what they should be doing. So building those relationships, that educational component, and really being able to explain how what we're doing benefits them is key to success in any smart community.


Kristin Musulin  

Did anyone else want to add to that?


Sokwoo Rhee  

Yeah, so the one question that comes out to the what is the mechanism to accomplish this ideal goal that we are talking about? So what You have any smarter projects, saving the cities and everywhere, you have to live settle a metric of success KPIs key, key indicator, performance performance. Thank you. So what they have what that means is in many cases, when you have companies to set the KPI they set the KPI based on the performance of the products or that technology is like, so how many visitors on to the app and how many user is all good and, you know, sounds good and everything but at the end of the day, if it does not have a tangible benefit for the citizen, the residents eventually then that really doesn't really do anything is almost a waste of time or resources for so it is critical to set those KPIs from the perspective of the residents and citizens. Like for example, traffic congestion, okay, so if you have a software to manage traffic, have a sense of like, how much time how much percentage or community can be reduced by that. Can you prove that You reduce it by 30% or 20%, on average, that's a tangible benefit for a lot of these, you know, these folks. So I think that's actually almost like enforcing mechanism to have the companies to look at this projects and technologies from the lens of the residents and citizens, not just from their own silos or their own technologies.


Kristin Musulin  

And so shifting gears a little bit during a panel earlier this week on smart cities, the conversation of where the US stands as sort of in leadership of p3 is came up and some of the panelists were saying that the US is behind some other countries when it comes to their approach to to partnerships and the way that we are actually executing our partnerships. And I'm curious to hear your response to this. Anyone who wants to chime in if you would agree that the US kind of lags behind when it comes to developing partnerships. Anyone?


Sokwoo Rhee  

I will second because I know what I'm going to say I want to hear someone else's


Chris Craig  

The one thing I would like to say something about it. So the one thing I will say about it is if we are or if we're not. People just need to take responsibility, right. And I think that's really what the bottom line is. The US can be lagging behind, but as a speech, just speaking as a person in a government position, we just take the leadership role, that's what we should be doing in our jobs, right. So we have at the city, Las Vegas have taken that leadership role to develop these partnerships is why we created the international Innovation Center. It's why we're out in front of the Smart City stuff. So even if the whole us is lagging behind, that doesn't give us an excuse or reason to continue to lag behind. We just got to step out in front of it and make it happen. That's the only way this revolution in smart cities is truly going to happen is if people take the lead and just do it and stop making excuses as to why we're lagging behind just in my opinion. But


Sokwoo Rhee  

yeah, so to answer that question, that's actually critical question. I like that question. We have to first look at the the worldwide a smart city landscape, okay, so really There are three major regions or major components in the smartest in the world. First one is obviously we're up. Second is North America. And third one is Asia. They have distinct approaches and smart cities. So Asia is very much top down. The Smart City projects start from central government. And they say we're going to have this initiative, we're going to carve out this budget, and this budget or distribute through this cities. And I'm going to tell you pretty much what that smart city will look like. Very efficient, and very top down and sometimes fast and done very quickly. Now, Europe is sort of a mix of top down and you know, the bottom of the EU is taking a major role. Actually, they have a funding programs and all that, and they provide the funding and also they provide the partnership opportunities for this competition and so on us is actually very different. And as we all know, in the United States, local governments and central federal governments aren't actually very independent. That's best way to put it, put it this way I'm effect. I go to a city and try to say, hey, Las Vegas, I will set this is highway one you to the Smart City and Las Vegas go say go away. No. That's pretty good will respond. So the point I'm making it as we are very independent. So what that means is in the United States, most of this massive projects are led by municipalities and cities and frankly, federal governments provide a convening and facilitating supporting roles. Now, what does that mean for p3? Okay, so what that means is us p threes are very much bottom up, essentially has to be very grassroot. That's pretty much the only way to make your work in the United States. So what does it exactly mean? at the city level, they come up with their own p3 mechanism, and they're not actually not the same. So every city has their own perspectives and they're very different. I'll give you a few examples. Like there is a City Color Coral Gables, Florida. Their CEO is sitting right over there. They come up with a really, really interesting way to create this public private Mecca. They create their own ecosystem at the city level with, you know, essentially the vendors at the end of the day with the procurement mechanisms in place. But they pro they create this sort of like partnership model. And then when there is a project and rain was a showed me about 40 projects they're working on right now in that city. By the way, crow gables is only 50,000 people. It's not it's not huge, okay, there's more traffic back and forth, but this small city, they create their own ecosystem, and then they provide those opportunities to those companies to work together. Now. Is it splash is a shiny, it's like is it like globally, you know, visible projects, probably not. The same he mean that us is behind in public private partnership. I don't think So it's more like a we are less visible, but at the same time because it's less visible and because of the grassroots level, I think it is more sustainable doesn't mean that Asia and Europe is not doing a great job, hey, all of us, right from Europe is from Europe is they're doing great job is just that every region, every countries have different perspectives. And I don't think the US is behind your p3.


Chris Reeves  

Just change the discussion slightly from p3. One of the things that we do in the UK and this is replicated in Europe as well, is that we do collaborative development projects, which are co funded by industry and government. And it allows people to collaborate at a much closer level. And it also enables you to work with disruptive companies, and by disruptive companies, some really small companies that have small Medium Enterprises where some of this technology is going to come from it and nice and level and then you can nurture it, and then and apply it. And that works extremely well. And essentially, the connected autonomous vehicle testbed activity is a model based on that collaboration, where it's co investment from industry and governments. And within those collaborations, it actually has the custodians of our roads. So some of the local authorities and highways England actually embedded in those projects. So there's this deep understanding of what the requirements are, what the technical solutions are potentially available, but also how they can be applied and how they can be taken and deployed them through some of the procurement processes etc, which can be quite challenging.


Kristin Musulin  

Anything else to add, Alright. So one thing that I find really interesting as a journalist is we often will report on the creation of a p3. And we'll see it through a little bit and then we'll kind of maybe stop following it. And rarely do we hear about p threes falling through and the failure of a p3. And so I'd like to hear from you all on, you know, if you're approaching a partnership that just isn't working out, or if you're kind of trying to make it work, and it's just not how do you work through that? How do you exit a partnership like that and bounce back from that when you're moving forward into the next partnership? This is can be for anyone who wants to jump in? 


Chris Craig  

Well, for I mean, we do a lot of pilot projects, and it's in some of them overlap. So it's reasonable to consider that many are not going to make it through and that's just part of the the process that's part of the piloting process, and finding out technologies. What's really, really should be focused on here is that it's giving multiple companies offer opportunities to try. And we're not squeezing anybody out of the marketplace. It's not just the big box folks that are coming in and dropping off their hardware and saying we've got a permanent solution. And here you go, we're giving the startups the same equal opportunity as the large multinational corporations that already exist. So we're going to have some fall off. And we've had that happen with the big companies and the small ones. And then it's about the understanding of what you're going into when you create the partnership is what actually helps you with the exit of the partnership. The KPIs that we spoke about earlier, the understanding of the agreement before you enter in, all of those things should be identified prior to going into the partnership so that all parties involved understand what they're up for, because there's ownership on both sides. And there's actually ownership in three ways when it comes to the city's ownership to the citizens. There's ownership to the government side, there's ownership to the partner. So it's important to make sure all those things are lined out in the contract or the agreement, the use agreement, however you're documenting what you're doing with that partnership. And those exit strategies are all for us are typically pre laid out. And it's pretty obvious when things are going self and some of these projects. nobody's really surprised when you come to the end of the project, and it's not working out. So it's a very rare occasion where it's a quick decision people understand where it where it's headed and and how it's happening. So, but it all comes down to how the partnership was drafted and what the expectations are set at the very beginning, I believe.


Prashanthi Raman  

Yeah, I think to piggyback off of Chris, I think it's so important in those initial conversations to have those true goals and level setting of expectations. I think that's why most of our department that is in charge of the government, government agencies, partnerships are planners themselves. They've come from a background they've been on the other side, they understand where, you know, some of the barriers are to getting the partnership done, whether it's procurement, whether it's timing, whether who's the decision maker, etc. And so we really try to work on it and sometimes that means that on the front end It takes a long time for the partnership to actually stand up. Because we are really trying to iron out all those issues. And it is not a cookie cutter plan that we just distribute to every single partnership that comes our way. It is really trying to understand how we can substantially utilize the technology and transportation and provide a solution. You know, whether it's creating equity with is it promoting sustainability, is it and most importantly, connecting communities. And so for us, those are the goals that we go into. But there's so many nuances of those conversations that really have to be established, and at lift we really value are really to have a fantastically open and honest rapport with our partnerships. And without that, I think that's where you start to have a struggle when you see something that working either one party or the other is afraid to not too afraid to say that it's not working But without that we can't iterate it, we can't tweak it, we can't make sure that we are somehow solving for something else. Have we come up with a different version of our technology that in that three month pilot peeler is a six month pilot period that we can then try again? And so we really do you try, try try again, it's sort of our motto. Because I think for us, it's very important that we, we are collaborators and partners with with the cities.


Sokwoo Rhee  

And so I have a little bit input on that. So for vendors and companies, you have to first understand the characteristics of government or government employees. If you are paying us federal tax, I work for you. You are paying my salary, okay, that's how it works. If you live in Las Vegas, and paying Pat tax, the local government, you are actually paying him and he if it works for you. What that means is that you don't want your tax to be wasted or you don't want to so because of that Government employees and government agencies are extremely risk averse. I mean, and that's that's not a bad thing is just that we don't want taxpayers dollars to be wasted. Coming combine that with the innovations and technologies is coming from nowhere which nobody has ever seen. Now the question there is how we still harness this new technologies and companies like you know, ridesharing For example, when it first came up it was now it's not that new let me it's new, but it's not it's not like this. Nobody knows about it. But it was like that few years ago and then the question so city employees has to make a decision on the procurement and you have the existing laws you have the existing rules that you have to still work with. So that's where the procurement becomes extremely important topic now I'm switching a little bit to procurement but the but this is how you avoid a failure or minimize the possibility of failure. So there's a new approaches are coming up traditional Pokemon is it takes like six months are people RF AI and all these kind of things, vendors companies alike Hey, I work with a quarterly earnings statements will have to wait for two years until you get your budget in place. Give me a break. So there are new technologies or new ways of coming up like innovative procurement technology, that's what he call it in instead of California and also, the couple other states are trying what they call challenge based procurement. What this means is this. So when you do a pilot typically and what most of us cities request pilot to the vendors before they go to procurement. The problem is, let's say you are selected for pilot you've this successful pilot use, you proved your system your solution works in the city. But the law most of the laws states that you still have to open up to the the open bidding after the pilot to everybody else. What it means is whoever spent their own dime in getting the pilot successful has to still compete with the similar vendors who come on the same time. And then eventually the outcome may very well be that you do not get selected for the full deployment. And this is one of the very key complained coming from a lot of companies I talked to. So this challenge based, the procurement actually works with the existing role, but combines this deployment model and a pilot model into one. So what that does is they you go through a certain bidding process that before starting a pilot, and when you are selected, then you do the pilot with a certain KPIs. That's important. That's that's where cities have the knobs to change the outcome. Kp, once you meet these KPIs, you are pretty much guaranteed to be the full deployment partner because the bidding process that legally required is pretty much done at the front on there. So I mean, again, it's not going to work for everyone. It's not for me, it's not for every city, but there are no new ways of procurement being discussed and coming up. And I'm very keen on it. Because I'm hoping that really right now we are at the point that pilots are great, but we really need large scale deployments. And that's where I think we really need to spend time on and focus on to make it work. Right.


Kristin Musulin  

Good. So we're going to open it up right now to any audience questions that you might have. There are two microphones, one over here and one over here. If you could just line up and then share your name and your company and your question. 

 

Yes, sorry about the noise. Make sure you speak up. We'll start over here.


Speaker 2  

Thank you very much. My name is Eugene Pawsley. cough. I'm with a company called Kiana Analytics out of Silicon Valley. And the question I have is probably for Prashanthi. But for everybody on the panel. Lift is essentially right now its assets. Not just the cars, but it's the data that you collect. I mean, it's it's a humongous aggregator of information. So that's on the one side of the equation. On the other side. Towns cities are fairly fragmented in the visibility of what they can see on a day to day. Is there a possibility Was there any work for that lift is doing, where a discussion where data can be shared in some way, shape or form that will address some of the city questions like public safety, ability, you know, transportation effect on the economic development, so on so forth, because we think that data is the equalizer if you want, regardless of whether it's a million population, city, population city or 50,000. Thank you.


Prashanthi Raman  

Yeah, so we're just asking about the data sharing and public private partnerships and how how can we open up to Sharing and ensure that it's helping cities sort of regardless of size, meet the needs. Thank you for your question. And, you know, I think date data sharing is obviously a very unique component of lots of our P threes. And I will also say that it has become a large component of our conversations with government in general, whether it is our sub, negotiating a new ordinance or a law at the state level, data sharing has become a very good conversation point. We understand that we have data etc. And I think that there is a fine balance that we try to achieve with providing cities the opportunity and in government the opportunity to have access to that data without without disrespecting or abusing the privilege of our users and their drivers. So I will say that we do actually provide quite a bit of data to most cities, and we do provide data sharing In our, to a certain extent, depending on what the partnership is to, to allow for cities to be able to do some more urban planning to understand which blocks are, you know, maybe there's not enough lights on a certain block, but there's where a lot of the rides are being picked up and there needs to be alderman needs to come out and look at that situation. And so I think we want to be able to have those conversations and be those those partners in that piece. So I think that that is a little bit of a misnomer that we are against all all data sharing, I think it is a it's a it's a practice that we are working on. And we need to achieve the right amount of balance with how much data we are providing, understanding that there is a unique desire on the other side to gain access to more of that information.


Kristin Musulin  

Right. Let's take it over here.


Speaker 3  

Am I am Yes, yes. Hi, I'm Sarah Rushnik and I'm a professor at the University of Miami in Coral Gables. bills. And I just wanted to shout out to Raimundo that he approached us and says How can academia help us? And I see it as a two way street. He comes to us many times, even in giving lectures to my business technology, my health informatics, and also employs our students as interns. So they're excited on that. My question to you is, I see that partnership as almost as matchmaking in the way that I need to see what are my strengths as an academic or as an institution? And what are your strengths and to pick those projects that we both can excel in? And I'm wondering to you, what ideas have you worked with academics before and thinking about that way of making successful projects? We have to think about that in the beginning, just like a mate right? If you want to do it, do we have the same values? Do we have the same different strengths? Maybe to go into it? So I wanted to suggest from you, what are your were basically your ways in which you used academics in the way that were successful. And what ideas do you have to break 


Kristin Musulin  

Just to repeat for the folks at home or on Livestream? How can academic institutions be brought into the conversation of public private partnerships in a way that meets the skills of both academics and cities? Anyone?


Chris Reeves  

pick that up? Certainly in the programs that we're working in, we have academia involved in those programs, and right at the heart of those programs. And what's really important, as mentioned earlier, is having clearly defined outcomes. So we know KPIs have been mentioned. KPIs mean different things to different people and their success criteria. KPIs are very different from an industry perspective, and from what may be from a government and local authority perspective. is how do we align those to get satisfactory outcomes. But, um, but it is critical that we build in that academic input into this. We haven't mentioned it to to in the conversation at all. But you're really important in addressing the skills issues. There is a real skills problem relating to these technologies. And you have a critical role to play alongside industry in addressing those skill gaps as well. 


Kristin Musulin  

Great. Did anyone else want to chime in?


Chris Craig  

Just real quick? Yeah. So when we bring the academic side in as early as possible, and most of our projects, it's important for us to help build the education around the community as well. And by bringing them in early and helping us identify what these are they can adapt their programs and their educational pathways to the future of the technology that we're putting out into the public. So it's helping us create that economic impact by bringing up the educational levels and when they come out of college. There's jobs Waiting for them and if they've taken part from the from ground zero, they're going to stay in our community and continue to pay it forward, if you will.


Kristin Musulin  

Right. Thank you so much. We'll switch it back over here.

 

Speaker 4  

Okay. Nicole, so professor, the University of Miami, and I'd like also to give credit to Raimundo for reaching out to us. I would like to point Another point is that many times the academics are involved in research so many times we going to pilot programs, but at the same time, we are not a companies that are designed to provide continuing support. So many times it has to be a three way collaboration. We can invent to develop something relatively new but once we streamline and we define it clearly, many times we want to delegate it to another company that can carry on because most of the innovation is done now. The question is how to set up their KPI, if you know of any specific example that you can share with us. So the third party that is usually an a for profit organization, as opposed to academics, and series are usually nonprofit organizations. So how can you can take it to the next level, to make sure that the for profit organization is involved from the get go in the API. And in the first phase, how would you set up the KPI in such a way that it will be worth the while to continue and follow up? Especially maybe in the examples from the federal government that you know have three way collaborations like that? That after the innovation is expired, and now it's a matter of implementing it over time. So the academics or they have nothing else to do, and it's all defined in the attack. I mean, spreadsheets and everything is done, and now it's a matter of carrying it. How can you make sure that it continues smoothly.


Kristin Musulin  

So the question is how can KPIs be better developed make sure that for profit and nonprofit academic institutions can be carried through the entire partnership process


Speaker 4  

and for three way collaboration from the get goes later, it is smooth instead of having all kinds of bumps.


Sokwoo Rhee  

Yeah, let me first take the first cut. So smart see is complex, smart cities hard problem. It's not like a you have a vendor city only relationship that you you have RFP and you sell it. You have multiple more than two. Then the stakeholders involved universities, innovation teams, and nonprofits and federal government. So what you are suggesting or you are describing is actually a hard problem. You have a multi pi agency problem agents and not the government agencies, more multi group problem, and I believe that's where central government or in the US The federal government has a role in it because we are neutral convener. We are facility And then at the end of the day, I cannot provide economics of those projects or smart cities, but I can facilitate the discussion help you figure out the framework of those collaborations. And now, let me give you a little bit about why I'm doing a smart city as a nest, because you see the news they use guys to standards, what what what do you do you work your Smart City, right? So, smart city is so complex that even before talking about standards, you have to look at the whole market is emerging and market is crashing consensus. point is this even if I write a standards of a smart city, if the market is not following or involved in implementing this standard, it's not going to go anywhere. So the point is, we would like to try to market momentum or consensus and then the concept when I say market momentum, that itself means that collaboration and partnerships between multiple parties, all universities and companies and then out of that week tract best practices. And we codify and document and that's what you do. So that is a long way of saying that there is a critical role in federal government or central government in coordinating those efforts. And frankly, there's not going to be one size fit all and it's not going to be one method that's going to solve all these problems. But that's where the role is.


Kristin Musulin  

Thank You


Chris Reeves  

cannot you cannot just broaden the


Speaker 4  

just one more point many times it's also multinational. So the cooperation sometimes they have some invention in Japan and all of a sudden you deal with international issues, Britain or other countries altogether. So that is another dimension. Yes, your foreign or maybe you could add to that.


Chris Reeves  

Yeah, absolutely. And see the cumin processes have to be able to cope with internationalization of the supply chain, but also they have to be able to cope with very disparate timelines and life cycles within the supplies that you're going to be interacting with. So if I take a typical infrastructure infrastructure is quite often on decades, whereas some of the technology that we want to deploy on the infrastructure has a life cycle and a refresh rate in days and sometimes even less, you know, updating the firmware, etc. API's. So we have to have partnerships, which take into consideration those very disconnected life cycles. And, and that's a really critical the thing that has to be addressed.


Kristin Musulin  

Thank you. We only have a couple minutes left. So I'm going to try to get to these last two questions if you want to start off.


Speaker 5  

Hi, my name is Amy Smith, and I'm the executive director of the neighbor network of Northern Nevada. So we're, we're Reno we're Vegas as little stepsister up there, and sort of proud of it, I will say, and I'm super impressed with what our friends and other Nevada had been doing. Doing as far as you know, the public private partnerships and, and really kind of testing stuff out and doing some of those pilots. I've actually done some presentations with down Dan Holland on our lift partnership. So we also partner with lift on our transportation program. And I've actually been to conferences that are dedicated specifically to the three P's. And aside from the fact that there aren't enough women in the room, usually when you go to these conferences that have to do with transportation and the three P's that's a whole other session. I often hear you know, when we say, you know, private sector or even startup nobody ever considers a nonprofit, as a startup or, or as part of the private sector, which we are, you know, we're found private foundations, you know, private charitable organizations such as mine. And, and I think that nonprofits are really key aside from the universities. I really do appreciate that you've mentioned academia. But I think you know, nonprofits Not only don't have that kind of like market centered, you know, for profit focus, but we also don't have the regulatory barriers that a lot of the public agencies have. And so we can get away with. Right? So we can kind of get away with doing a lot of stuff. And we have a mechanism for getting grant funding. And when you talk about that market, we're not just looking at who's going to purchase the ride or who's going to fund this, you know, venture but we're actually doing it in a really equitable way we consider, you know, everyone in a community who's going to, you know, benefit from this type of program. So, I am and I think there's like some of that kind of ethical, you know, I guess social equity that comes with working with nonprofits. So I guess my question to you is, you know, semantics aside, because I think nonprofits need to be considered in the three P's and I usually say cross sectoral collaboration, because then we can hit all three. You know, what are some examples that you've seen with nonprofit organizations? filling those gaps and really being that kind of like key partner?


Sokwoo Rhee  

Oh, tons , tons. Actually, you know the answer you want it.


Speaker 5  

I want it to be an example that we hear about, about public agencies and cities and for profit companies.


Sokwoo Rhee  

So, so nonprofit is essential pillar of this smart city committee. So about 10 years ago when it was first and everything. It was really a relationship, city vendors city vendor, RFP RFID city was vendor responsive and sell the product and go away. About five, six years ago that dynamics has completely changed the especially the United States. Now we have again, we have cities, federal government, nonprofits and all this because I'm not going to name any specific nonprofits but there is one very active funded by the US federal government in doing a national level coordination over smart see which is great partner and of the program. I do. That's one


Speaker 5  

is it the AARP?


Sokwoo Rhee  

Jesus, you really wanted me to save the day. So secondly, there's another one. So there's an emerging trend called the smart region. Okay. So there's I mean, there's some believe that saying that the pilot can be done at the city level, but large scale deployment of cash should be probably will be done at the regional level. What that means is multiple jurisdictions, dozens of jurisdictions has to agree on some kind of scheme to make it work. And frankly, it's very hard for one city to lead that. So that's where I believe I can give an example Arizona actually has a nonprofit that coordinates that kind of things. And then washington dc there's a Believe it or not, there is a Washington regional collaboration group led by a trade group, Silicon Valley, there's about two dozen cities collaborating under the umbrella of a group called led by joint venture Silicon Valley is also nonprofit. So there are tunnel the examples?


Chris Craig  

Yeah, I'd like to chime in to in our innovation center, we actually do partner with some nonprofits, and they are housed there. So we firmly believe Scylla is firmly vague. And you know, I guess yeah, that we firmly believe that that is a key component to the success of a smart city. 


Chris Reeves  

Yeah, in the UK on naming example, sensing sensing has been specifically set up as a nonprofit to coordinate the testbed activity for connected and automated mobility. So critical component.


Prashanthi Raman  

Yeah, I think it's, I think it's a great call out I think that nonprofits for for lift have been a significant voice for us. And frankly, the way in which that we can move at a rapid, more rapid pace as you as you've articulated, has helped a tremendously when we do have to talk to the cities that that move at a slower pace than the nonprofits do, sometimes. And so I they are a functional component of, of how we can operationalize they're also extraordinarily important in our community engagement feedback. In continue US improvement of our app as well as the process in and of itself.


Kristin Musulin  

Thank you so much. I'm so sorry. We are running out of time. So I'm not sure unless it's super quick, but I'm not sure what we're going to be able to get to the last question. 


Speaker 6  

Okay. It might be really quick. Okay, I'm Charles Hartnett with the first responder network authority, which is under Department of Commerce. My question has to do with public safety. How do you include public safety in your planning? What impact do your plants have on public safety? And also, do you have any references for good places to get information about best practices on setting up these types of partnerships? Right.


Chris Craig  

I can do the first part of that question quickly. like yeah, we include public safety is one of our key pillars for identifying a pilot project. That is one of the things we primarily look at that's about the safety of our citizens, and the engagement, their citizens and making sure they're safe and comfortable in the parks and other locations that they go to within our city limits. So we include them at the very front of many of our things and they're one of the key pillars. For its success and KPIs that we look forward to choose a pilot, and I don't have an answer for this.


Kristin Musulin  

Okay, we're out of time. You guys can come up and ask questions after this. Let's give our panelists a round of applause. Thank you all so much for being here.


Sokwoo Rhee  

Thank you, sir.

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