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Celebrating Innovation: Breaking Ground on the JTA’s Autonomous Innovation Center

Join WGI and JTA in celebrating the groundbreaking of Jacksonville’s Autonomous Innovation Center (AIC) and discover how this transformative initiative will enhance urban mobility and set new standards for smart city technologies.

WGI was thrilled to join the Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) and Vision 2 Reality (V2R) Team for the groundbreaking of the cutting-edge Autonomous Innovation Center (AIC) at LaVilla. This event marks a significant step in the evolution of Jacksonville’s transportation infrastructure and highlights WGI’s instrumental role in bringing this visionary project to life.

Celebrating WGI’s Role in the Autonomous Innovation Center

The highly anticipated ceremony welcomed WGI’s Keegan Larson (VP, Transportation Operations Manager), Eric Luttmann (Director, Architecture), and Will Kenney (Architect), who were joined by esteemed partners and community leaders. Together, the event celebrated the beginning of this transformative endeavor that promises to reshape urban mobility throughout Jacksonville as we know it.

Adding a unique and memorable touch to the ceremony, WGI’s Architecture team presented a detailed 3D print of the AIC to JTA. This model, capturing the innovative and sleek design of the center, is a testament to WGI’s dedication to excellence and forward-thinking in architectural design.

3D Print - Autonomous Innovation Center

Upon completion, the AIC is set to serve as the operational heart of Jacksonville’s autonomous mobility system, housing and maintaining the city’s fleet of electric, autonomous vehicles. As a crucial element of the Bay Street Innovation Corridor (BSIC), Phase I of the Ultimate Urban Circulator (U2C) program, the AIC represents a giant leap forward in urban transportation technology and infrastructure.

WGI’s Integral Role in the Ultimate Urban Circulator (U2C) Project

WGI’s project involvement extends well beyond the AIC alone. As the lead engineer for the Vision 2 Reality team, WGI is at the forefront of the Ultimate Urban Circulator (U2C) initiative—a comprehensive project designed to modernize and expand transportation options in Downtown Jacksonville by introducing autonomous vehicles and smart infrastructure. The initial phase of the BSIC and U2C program will deploy a fleet of over a dozen all-electric autonomous vehicles across an initial 3-mile loop through Downtown Jacksonville’s urban core, extending east to the Sports and Entertainment District, providing for stops at 12 new modern and branded transit shelters.

Autonomous Vehicles

Ultimately, the U2C aims to convert the existing Skyway system into a 10-mile network of autonomous shuttles, providing seamless connectivity between Jacksonville’s urban neighborhoods and downtown. This transformation will significantly enhance public transit flexibility and accessibility, making it easier for residents and visitors to navigate the city efficiently.

Vision 2 Reality: A Partnership Driving Innovation

The Vision 2 Reality (V2R) partnership, comprising of WGI, Balfour Beatty, Superior Construction Company Southeast, Beep, Inc., Miller Electric, Grayline, and Urban SDK, is utilizing a progressive design-build approach to deliver this cutting-edge project. WGI’s comprehensive expertise in transportation engineering, architecture, structural engineering, MEP engineering, civil engineering, environmental services, and geospatial technologies is vital to the success of both the BSIC and the broader U2C initiative.

Lisa Nisenson, WGI’s VP of New Mobility and Connected Communities, captured the project’s essence perfectly in stating:

“This project represents a transformation of transit services that reimagines existing infrastructure, incorporates autonomous technologies, and introduces new vehicle types for convenient, sustainable downtown circulators.”

Keegan Larson, WGI’s VP, Transportation Operations Manager, went on to state:

“At WGI, our cross-discipline collaboration harnesses the collective expertise of our Transportation, Buildings/Architecture, Civil, Geospatial, and PLACE divisions, thus creating uniquely integrated designs that set new standards for excellence, as seen throughout the BSIC and U2C initiatives.”

Walter Kloss, WGI’s VP and Alternative Delivery Leader, has also highlighted the project’s uniqueness and its potential to position Jacksonville as a leader in autonomous and smart city technologies.

Looking to the Future

WGI at JTA Groundbreaking

The groundbreaking of the Autonomous Innovation Center is more than a milestone; it’s a symbol of the collaborative spirit and innovative expertise driving Jacksonville’s transportation transformation. The AIC and the U2C initiative showcase what’s possible when visionary teams like WGI and its partners come together to redefine urban mobility.

WGI is proud to be at the forefront of this journey, delivering pioneering engineering and architectural solutions that drive Jacksonville’s evolution into a smarter, more connected city. As the AIC takes shape and the U2C progresses, we look forward to continuing our partnership with JTA and the Vision 2 Reality team, forging a path toward a brighter, more innovative future.

Be sure to stay tuned as we continue to lead the charge in transforming the transportation landscape across the nation!

Contact Our Team

Contact our team today to learn more about how WGI’s innovative design and engineering are helping to drive Jacksonville’s smart city future, and let’s discuss how we can continue to push the boundaries of innovation on your next project!

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