Chamber Business News

Global music star and global innovator announce projects in AZ

DesTechAZ, an evening of innovation and celebration with Apple cofounder and Woz U creator Steve Wozniak, featured big announcements from Governor Doug Ducey and musical entertainer Pitbull.

“DesTech Arizona also proves that people from all over the world recognize Arizona is, and will continue to be, a premiere destination to launch, test and develop innovative technologies,” Gov. Ducey said.  

At the DesTech event, Gov. Ducey announced that he signed an Executive Order creating the Institute for Automated Mobility (IAM). IAM is an organization of private industry leaders, public officials and Arizona’s public research universities that will collaborate on groundbreaking automated vehicle research and development.

IAM will feature a simulation lab and testing tracks to focus on research and complex testing scenarios.

“IAM’s groundbreaking work will shape the future of transportation science, safety and policy. With oversight from the Arizona Commerce Authority, this institute will bring together the brightest minds in the tech industry, academia, public safety and policy,” Gov. Ducey said.

Intel is the first private sector founding partner of IAM. The company’s Responsibility Sensitive Safety model for automated vehicles and other expertise will contribute to the institute’s development.

Gov. Ducey explained Intel “has a long history of success, innovation, investment, and is a major employer in the state of Arizona.”

Jack Weast, principal engineer and chief architect of autonomous driving solutions at Intel, explained that Intel began its automated driving journey in Arizona. It is now at the forefront of Arizona’s most recent initiatives with IAM.

“This future of automated planning- increased safety, increased mobility, safer roads- is never going to come to fruition if we don’t as an industry work together with academic partners, governments and consumers to answer some of the most fundamental questions that remain unanswered for this industry,” Weast explained.

“I have no doubt that this will become the world’s premier automated vehicle research and development operation as new industry partners join in,” Gov. Ducey said.

As explained by Gov. Ducey, the Arizona Commerce Authority will oversee IAM operations. The institute will collaborate with the Arizona Department of Transportation, the Arizona Department of Public Safety, Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University, University of Arizona and private industry, like Intel.

In addition to Gov. Ducey’s announcement about the forward-looking IAM, a musical entertainer who also values innovation made an announcement at DesTechAZ.

Armando Christian Perez, commonly known as Pitbull, announced that he will open his charter school in Phoenix.

The school, SLAM! Academy (sports leadership and management), serves middle school and high school students and is designed to pique the interest of students who enjoy sports. The charter school offers education with a sports-related emphasis and aims to prepare them for postsecondary education.

Pitbull opened the first SLAM! Academy in Miami and continues to expand to other locations.

DesTechAZ was held at JW Marriott Camelback Inn Resort & Spa on the evening of Thursday, Oct. 11. The celebration of innovation featured updates on Wozniak’s Woz U, a blockchain discussion and special announcements.

Sierra Ciaramella

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