ASU and Cox partner to enhance smart region infrastructure

New Cox technology enables ASU to utilize new technological abilities to solve local and global issues

ASU and Cox Communications are partnering to enhance the smart region infrastructure developed by ASU’s Center for Smart Cities and Regions, which aims to advance urban and regional communities through innovative technologies and strategies. 

The partnership, announced on Nov. 15, enables Cox to work together with ASU and its resources to solve problems on both a local and global scale, said Samantha Becker, creative and communications executive director for the University Technology Office.

“The ability to co-locate with ASU provides companies the unique opportunity to take advantage of our world-class talent, expertise and other resources to address really grand challenges that have an impact on communities locally, regionally, nationally and also globally,” Becker said. 

Cox utilizes a technology called Cox2M, an Internet of Things service that hopes to optimize the region’s ways of living. The Internet of Things is “the concept of basically connecting any device with an on and off switch to the Internet (and/or to each other),” according to Forbes. 

Steve Rowley, executive vice president of Cox Business said in a press release that, "Cox Business, combined with Cox2M, will bring new experiential capabilities to the campus and provide a space for all to innovate."

Cox2M can be used to transform society beyond ASU in ways that can optimize the environment in Maricopa County, said Chris Richardson, deputy chief information officer for development, mobility and smart cities.

At ASU the Cox2M technology has a chance to be valuable to the University in its utilization of its fleet of vehicles including golf carts, cars and police cars.

Cox began a new fleet service called Pivet in January, which uses new and existing technological solutions to “maximize vehicle uptime and profitability for dealers,” according to a press release. 

“By understanding usage patterns we can actually cut down the cost to maintain that fleet … It’s helping us optimize our efficiencies, what if we're better able to utilize the resources we have to serve students?” Richardson said.

The UTO, with ideas supplied by the Smart City Cloud Innovation Center, is using technological strategies that can be enhanced by Cox2M to address real, local issues.

“We’ve recently engaged in a homelessness solutions challenge using smart and cloud technology to truly address a rampant local issue with national and global implications,” said Becker. 

When forming collaborative opportunities, Becker said the ideals of the students, faculty, general stakeholders and the involvement of the community it impacts are always at the forefront. 

Richardson said that in this case, the partnership was a result of mutual interest. Both ASU and Cox have separate strengths that can enhance the smart region being developed by the Center for Smart Cities and Regions.

ASU’s great research, willingness to innovate, willingness to try new things and its student-centric approach combined with Cox’s ability to transform the network, brings forward opportunities beneficial to both parties, as well as the students and local community, Richardson said. 

The success and ideas that are produced as a result of this partnership have ramifications for the entirety of Maricopa County.

“There’s massive implication because everyone’s kinda watching, our cities and towns know we signed these deals and they really wanna see how it works and we can really be that beacon for use-inspired research that then transfers out of what we do for ourselves across the Valley,” Richardson said. 


Reach the reporter at baharr21@asu.edu or follow @bharris823 on Twitter.

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