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MobileDOCK Helps Connect a Community: Smart Solutions for Problems of Urbanization

MobileDOCK = smart, urban tech; improves traffic around key facilities increasing resident quality of life; adds sustainable city revenues.

Photo of Rick Miller
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The challenge impact area of East Austin is both bounded and crossed by several significant roadway/highways, as well as specific locations that result in becoming high-density hubs for commercial vehicle traffic, particularly at certain times of the day.  Two of the key hubs for traffic are the downtown Austin area and Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.  Both of these areas are vital to the on-going and continued economic growth of the greater Austin metropolitan area.  Studies have shown, particularly at peak traffic periods, significant overall traffic congestion is frequently generated by commercial vehicles moving (or attempting to move) around these hubs.  More efficient management of commercial traffic not only improves efficiency, safety, and security of operations at these specific hub locations, it also contributes to significantly reducing congestion in the surrounding road network.  As urban areas grow, or are redeveloped with higher density and mixed-use venues, the commercial vehicle challenges increase exponentially with cascading stresses on residents, infrastructure and the community’s sustainability.  Sustaining the burgeoning Austin economy, and corresponding urban growth, requires smarter solutions to managing the traffic challenges.

MobileDOCK is a smart, urban technology that manages all commercial traffic, as well as providing solutions for customer/consumer-based transportation needs.

MobileDOCK reduces traffic on the roads in and out of facilities, easing gridlock both on property and in the surrounding community. Scheduling, automated approvals, access control and a number of other functions efficiently get vehicles in and out of facilities. We help manage and improve day-to-day efficiency driving both cost reductions and revenue generation, as well as attendant benefits in security and safety.  Additionally, more effective scheduling eliminates idling on-site for carbon emission reductions contributing to sustainability.

The tool involves all stakeholders for shared situational-awareness. We currently provide coverage for thousands of gates / docks / staging / parking sites with tens of thousands of registered platform users across four continents and millions of previous bookings.

MobileDOCK has proven adaptive and tailorable to a number of different traffic-density hubs. These include not only in-service operations, but planning/design support and construction site-management in greenfield projects and facility expansion developments. In addition to controlling traffic around the building site, the platform aides the lead contractor in controlling on the site itself for enhanced safety and security as well as efficiency improvements in the construction process. In operations, MobileDOCK is also very flexible in the ability to support an Internet-of-Things approach, linking data to existing infrastructure technologies, security, and other IT-solutions in the larger supply chain network.

How MobileDOCK’s various solutions solve the Austin Challenge are as follows.

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport:

  • Implement MobileDOCK for all commercial vehicle traffic in/out of airport; air cargo-related trucks; service vehicles; commercial deliveries; etc.
    • Improves visibility and security of vehicles in/out of a security-sensitive location
    • Reduces traffic congestion in the airport and surrounding roadways (Lockhart Hwy 183; SH-45; TX 71; I-35; Burleson Road; McKinney Falls Pkwy; etc.)
    • Nominal appointment fees create new revenue stream for City of Austin to fund other transportation measures for East Austin residents

  • Implement MobileDOCK to provide optional opportunity for traveling public to book advanced and reserved parking for privately owned vehicles
    • Pre-validation speeds parking access, reduces gate/ticket lines and reduces flyer’s stress
    • Added surcharge for the reserved “valet” spot creates new revenue stream for City of Austin to fund other transportation measures for East Austin residents

  • Implement MobileDOCK to provide control of construction vehicle traffic during any periods of significant capital improvements / expansion projects
    • Ensures security of contractor and sub-contractor vehicles entering the airport property and build site
    • Improves safety and efficiency of the building site saving costs
    • Nominal appointment fees create new revenue stream for City of Austin to fund other transportation measures for East Austin residents

NOTE: all airport vehicle management noted above can be controlled through one common MobileDOCK platform!

Downtown Austin:

  • Implement MobileDOCK to remove curbside delivery zones throughout the core, central portion of the city
    • MobileDOCK creates a network of off-street options for commercial vehicles to leverage close to their delivery locations
    • Public-Private Partnership (P3) opportunities to encourage privately-owned facility participation and broader community involvement
    • Removal of commercial street parking greatly reduces traffic congestion; increases safety
    • Network creates more options for drivers and appointed times; increases efficiency
    • Lane areas “returned” for other use can be leveraged in numerous ways; more paid parking; improved traffic flow; dedicated mass transit bus or bicycle lanes; wider sidewalks for pedestrian traffic; curbside amenity; etc.
    • Nominal appointment fees create new revenue stream for City of Austin to fund other transportation measures for East Austin residents
    • Opportunity to leverage commercial vehicle movement data to inform city traffic and development planners

Longer-term Implications:

  • Success of the program in improving traffic and efficiency can encourage large facilities with significant commercial vehicle traffic in the greater Austin area to consider MobileDOCK implementation
    • Site-specific locations gain efficiency, safety, and security improvements

  • Broader adoption across the city creates opportunity to apply artificial intelligence and machine learning to MobileDOCK collected data improving traffic and urban planning as the city continues to grow and develop
    • Moving beyond single site optimization, delivery carriers can optimize entire routes when going to multiple MobileDOCK sites
    • City planners can make better data-driven decisions on road infrastructure investments, traffic control plans and other related issues

  • The above implications have been noted in other cities where MobileDOCK implementation has spread to multiple locations

Feasibility of a Pilot Program:

We have high confidence in the approach outlined in this application.  MobileDOCK is a proven solution, already running or in planning development at other locations that match, or are similar to, the applications described herein for Austin. 

After developing understanding and conceptual buy-in with the potential sites involved, implementation of the phased approached outlined below can begin immediately.  There are no foreseen challenges for implementation start-up to conclude within a six-month timeframe.  Experience has shown site-implementation projects, and the associated change management processes, usually require approximately two months to complete.

The only minimal infrastructure changes currently anticipated to run the pilot at select locations may be the installation of boom-gates, pin or barcode pads and possible license plate recognition cameras to control access to select locations where currently no access controls are in place.  If selected to continue in the Challenge process, we would refine these requirements during the Refine Phase as part of a site visit to Austin.

Describe who will use your solution (1,000 characters)

At the Airport, all commercial vehicle traffic and delivery locations will be managed through MobileDOCK. The flying public will have a MobileDOCK option to enhance parking efficiency and convenience for private automobiles. Throughout downtown, all commercial vehicles, storefront owners, and sites delivering/receiving goods will be able to participate. New city revenues generated by all options can benefit East Austin residents with funded follow-on transportation solutions for unique needs.

Describe your solution's stage of development

  • Fully Scaled - you have already scaled your solution and are exploring new use cases

Insights from previous testing (500 characters)

Millions of appointments across dozens of sites have statistically proven results: 40% reduction in vehicle dwell time; 50% increased throughput; 30% reduction in required loading bays; 95% of all appointments automatically approved by smart algorithms. Security, safety and site amenity all improved as well.

Tell us about your team or organization (500 characters)

Addressing market gaps between traditional consultants and technology vendors, we combine “real-world,” operationally based industry knowledge with expertise in best-of-breed software applications and related consultancy services to deliver a unique blend of technology-enabled solutions. Our balance of multi-skilled individuals possessing experience, technical, analytical skills with project & change management experience provides value, rigor, and reduces the time to deliver client solutions.

Size of your team or organization

  • 11-50

Team or Organization URL

Funding Request

  • $100,000

Rough budget (500 characters)

• Provision airport cargo operation: $10K • Provision airport commercial deliveries: $10K • Provision airport private parking option: $30K • Provision downtown removal of curb-side delivery zones: $50K

Describe how you would pilot your idea (1000 characters)

Phase 1: Conduct briefings, awareness campaign and gain approvals from City of Austin and airport officials. Phase 2: Conduct briefings and general awareness campaign for area residents, businesses & facility tenants, delivery carrier networks. Phase 3A: Implementation of MobileDOCK provisioning and change management program for airport commercial vehicles. Phase 3B: Finalize plan & installations necessary for airport private parking option solution. Phase 3C: Conduct survey, assessments and outreach to plan downtown, off-street delivery parking network. (Runs concurrently) Phase 4A: Implementation of MobileDOCK provisioning and change management program for airport private parking option. Phase 4B: Implement of MobileDOCK provisioning and change management program for downtown curbside zone removal. (Runs concurrently) Phase 5: Monitor and adjust implementation as required; collect revenues for city transportation fund. Each begins upon implementation in rolling sequence.

Describe how you would measure the success of your pilot (1000 characters)

With full implementation as described, MobileDOCK will deliver notable reductions in congestion and traffic around the airport and in the greater downtown area. Inherent metrics, tracking and analytics embedded in the software will allow delivery companies to monitor and track efficiency improvements. Delivery sites will have advanced notification and increased security for vehicles presenting to their locations. Optional use for private autos at the airport should, generate positive feedback about smoothing out the parking experience related to flying. Finally, every City of Austin dollar generated by MobileDOCK use can be returned directly to the transportation needs of the citizens in East Austin.

Sustainability Plan (500 characters)

MobileDOCK is sustainable from Day #1! The platform is already proven and commercially viable elsewhere. Even during the Challenge pilot-test phase, MobileDOCK can generate revenue to sustain its on-going operations, as well as generate revenues for the City of Austin to apply to other transportation challenges facing residents in the Eastern Crescent impact area of interest.

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1 comment

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Photo of Jack Gray

Thanks for the proposal, Rick.
Quick follow up - could you add a bit more detail about how this would increase access to healthy living in East Austin? I know there are a lot of benefits to the solution, but an angle towards health and healthy living would be helpful. Thanks!