Smart Cities are Proactive, Not Reactive

Last week I spoke at Government Fleet Expo & Conference (GFX) in New Orleans about how cities can leverage their municipal fleets in previously unimaginable ways to transform themselves into smart cities. Of course, a key aspect of my remarks focused on Rubicon Global’s own RUBICONSmartCity™ offering; a technology platform which has now been rolled out in more than 35 cities across the United States.

Put on by the publishers of Government Fleet magazine, GFX is the largest annual conference of public fleets in the country—and it shows. Government fleets are where the rubber hits the road in terms of the smart cities movement, and GFX is the place to be whether you’re a city looking for new technologies in which to invest, a fleet manager seeking the latest information about trends in the industry, or a procurement specialist wanting to connect with peers in the fleet community.

Cross-Pollination

GFX is known for generating new ideas and for the cross pollination that seems to take place between cities and service providers during the expo. All involved seem to truly relish the opportunity to collaborate, brainstorm, and create ideas between smart cities and the increasingly unique and important role that government fleets play in bringing smart cities to life.

During the conference, and along with my Rubicon® colleagues Samantha Podgorny, Director of Technology Business Development, and Hurst Renner, Manager of Public Policy and Smart City Partnerships, we had the chance to sit down with city leaders from states as varied as Hawaii, Colorado, Pennsylvania, and Alabama. During these meetings we talked about the diverse needs of these cities (waste management, snowplows, street sweepers, and more), and Sam gave demonstrations of our RUBICONSmartCity technology in action.

As with all conferences, the best ideas come out during the open Q&A sessions that follow a talk. After my presentation at GFX numerous city leaders stood up to ask questions and give their perspectives on how their fleets are working toward a smarter future. I’d like to extend a special thank you to the cities of Montgomery, Alabama and West Memphis, Arkansas, both of whom were active participants in the Q&A and graciously shared the positive experiences they have had working with the RUBICONSmartCity team.

Beyond Waste and Recycling Management

The crux of my presentation at GFX came down to the simple truth that smart cities are proactive, not reactive, when it comes to procuring the kind of value-driving technology that will take their city to the next level.

While our core business at Rubicon focuses on waste and recycling management, we are increasingly deploying our RUBICONSmartCity technology in city fleets that include snowplows, street sweepers, and more in order to take advantage of the fact that these government fleet vehicles travel every road of every city block and take stock of quality of life issues, infrastructure failings, and impending breakdowns—and log these instances—before a city resident sees them and lodges a complaint.

This is what sets RUBICONSmartCity apart. The return on investment, the safety gains, and being able to maximize your existing resources (fleet vehicles) is all part of what can make your city a more sustainable, resilient, and equitable place to live.

I had a great time presenting and meeting with city leaders at GFX this year—I’m looking forward and looking ahead to next year’s expo in Anaheim, California!

If you have any questions for me or the rest of the Smart City team here at Rubicon, or you would like to explore the possibility of deploying RUBICONSmartCity in your city, please reach out to me any time at michael.allegretti@rubiconglobal.com.


Michael Allegretti is Chief Strategy Officer at Rubicon Global. To stay ahead of Rubicon’s announcements of new partnerships and collaborations around the world, be sure to follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, or contact us today.

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