Get People Out of Their Cars…

Potential Unleashed

Tampa !p (the P stands for Partnership) is all about unleashing the potential of the University area.

A quick perusal of the businesses and large institutional behemoths located within one mile of each other, from the University of South Florida, Florida Hospital (soon to be AdventHealth Tampa), Moffitt Cancer, “Uptown” the former University Mall, Busch Gardens, the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital, Yuengling Brewery, PepsiCo, to name but eight of hundreds, reveal an historic opportunity and unique challenge.

The “potential” is clear – find a way to get people out of the cars while creating next generation mobility options to link each institution to the other and to the community at large, and the area will blast off like a rocket to Mars with a Tesla on board (and yes that’s a full-fledged Tesla office on Florida Avenue pictured below.)

The challenge is deciding where to start as there are countless efforts being launched every day to tap into the mobility industry.

And this is where things begin to get interesting!

Tampa !p is meeting the challenge. We have created a partnership with our Anchor Partners, FDOT District 7, Hillsborough County, and HART to quickly raise $2.4 million in pledges for a proposed “Uptown Circulator”.

The Circulator is but one byte planned for transforming the University area into a live, work, play, study, and stay Innovation District. Efforts are now underway to explore autonomous vehicles on the USF campus, new strategies for improving mobility along Fowler Avenue, possible locations for a future Tampa !p Multimodal Facility, all part of a massive effort to unleash the economic and civic potential of our area.

No doubt you have been following the debate as companies like Bird explore the deployment of scooters for last-mile service; May Mobility deploys autonomous vehicles on the streets of Detroit; BrightLine moves forward with high-speed rail from Orlando to Tampa; and Hyperloop introduces itself to Tampa Bay. Why all this activity? Estimates today indicate that transportation is a $1.5 trillion dollar industry and may well soar to $7 trillion over the next 25 years.

Companies as large as Apple, Google, Ford, GM, and Tesla to small upstarts are bursting with innovative fervor in a race to recreate the “city of tomorrow” (for example see Ford Mobility LLC or Panasonic CityNow) where mobility is clean, green, abundant, easy, fun, and radically convenient.

The Economist recently graced the cover of its magazine with a cover story declaring, “RoadKill The Death of the Internal Combustion Engine”.

Every day new stories emerge regarding the impact of autonomous vehicle technology, artificial intelligence, blockchain technology, and even quantum computing on transportation.

No one really knows for certain where the mobility industry will go, but imagine a radical reduction in traffic accidents. What will this mean for hospitals and the insurance industry? What impact will new mobility technologies have on our roads where pedestrians, bicycles, and scooters share future smart roads with autonomous cars? What will our office buildings look like without ugly parking garages and what about homes without three-car garages? And just to keep this string going – how will smart streetlights and traffic signals help make our cities and suburbs safer?

We don’t know.

But what we do know is that we are on the road to something vastly different than where we have been since the time of the Romans. Greg Lindsay is one of the foremost thinkers pondering these questions about the evolution of transportation and how it is transforming the way we live. We are bringing Greg to Tampa !p as the keynote speaker at the fourth annual Innovation Gathering on September 13.

I have been on the road the last several weeks visiting New York, Pittsburgh, and Detroit. These metros are not sitting still and neither can we in this exciting new mobility market. Freeing people from their cars while ramping up connectivity through next-generation mobility will unleash the potential of every community in the world. So buckle your seatbelt, strap on your helmet, and download your mobility app – it’s going to be an exciting ride!

That’s my SharpeByte for today!

Link to the News