ChaTech Hosts IoT and MLK Smart City Corridor Connect Event

ChaTech Hosts IoT and MLK Smart City Corridor Connect Event

On May 15, ChaTech’s Connect event was a panel discussion about IoT and Smart Cities, more specifically about the MLK Smart City Corridor. The internet of things, or IoT, is a system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects, animals or people that are provided with unique identifiers (UIDs) and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction. Researchers at UTC, as part of Chattanooga’s Smart Community Collaborative, installed a CUIP testbed for the MLK Smart City Corridor. Read more about the collaborative, ranked among Top 50 smart city projects here. Researchers are examining the audio, video and other data to understand how Chattanoogans use their roads. This kind of information can help officials plan safer streets. To discuss this in more detail and the use of IoT, ChaTech invited three panelists.


  • Mina Sartipi PhD, Director of the Center for Urban Informatics and Progress (CUIP) and UTC Professor
  • Kevin Comstock, Smart City Director of the City of Chattanooga
  • Peter Ashley, VP Business Development and Marketing for Applied Information

Moderated by Alex Crukishank of Carbon Five.

The initial research from this project is focusing on transportation; however, the group has partnered with organizations such as Erlanger and EPB to continue to expand the initiative into different sectors. “We are trying to solve Chattanooga’s problems, not just A problem. And this is just the beginning, there are many places this data can take us – like water quality. This is growing as we learn what we can do with this research and data. This Corridor is here to stay and we will continue building on this,” Dr. Mina Sartipi.

But what about data protection and security? Privacy and security are concerns for a public data collection project such as this. “Security is a concern, but the Italian job won’t happen… a lot has been solved with protocols and one of the key aspects is ‘over the air’ software updates. Traffic hardware is designed to work 15-20 years, so over the air updates is a necessity for remotely connecting and updating. Ability for over the air allows for security updates,” Peter Ashley. It should be noted that the data collected from this research is not being stored, UTC researchers are not capturing individual or detailed information – just general information about a person walking across the street or a truck driving down the road.

It’s clear that IoT technologies can huge benefits for urban design and operations, the goal of this project is to make Chattanooga a safer, smart city. “Connecting more devices is going to be positive for society. We have created technology that can potentially save lives, but let’s test it – like the MLK Smart Corridor. IoT and connecting, it adds layers of safety,” Peter Ashley.

About our sponsor, Temple, Inc:

Temple, Inc. is a fourth generation family business with 65 years of transportation and industry experience. Temple has remained committed to providing the most comprehensive traffic and ITS solutions available and matches this with dedicated service and support. To supplement Temple, Inc.’s long-term commitment to the transportation / ITS industry, Temple has partnered with Applied Information since 2013, and together, have quickly become successful by completing many significant projects since then. Applied Information has been presented with multiple noteworthy awards including “Winner of the 2018 NEMA Illumination” award and “Winner of 2017 Mobile Breakthrough Social Impact” award.


Missed this one? The next Connect event is June 12 at Volkswagen Chattanooga from 11:30am to 1:00pm, honoring the scholarship recipients. Connect with the 2019 ChaTech Scholars. Register here.


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