New Mexico Launches Mobility Business Strategy

Implementation Begins in Gallup for I-40 Mobility Hub

Scottsdale, Arizona:

Late last year, GLDPartners Mobility Solutions completed a Statewide Mobility Strategy for the State of New Mexico and since that time quite a lot has happened to advance the State as a US leader in mobility.  With direction from members of the State Legislature and the Governor’s Administration, the Mobility Strategy was developed with an intent to create an integrated business plan to support economic development, research and development and citizen safety. This is a first for a state to complete a boundary-to-boundary business plan for comprehensively supporting the mobility industry.

The New Mexico Mobility Strategy proposed the entire state be developed as a “mobility laboratory”.  Considering an entire state for developing and deploying next-generation mobility technologies would be groundbreaking.  The laboratory would position the State as a leading setting for research and development, component production and real-world mobility services.  The Mobility Strategy included a series of recommendations including a focus on regulatory/policy clarifications, development of new specialized infrastructure, creating business partnerships and standing-up on and off-road testing and development corridors/hubs.  The Strategy’s emphasis is to utilize the State’s extensive interstate highway network with new urban mobility hubs that would be developed in Albuquerque, Gallup and Las Cruces/Santa Teresa.

In the most recent legislative session, the New Mexico Legislature passed a bipartisan bill authorizing the testing of self-driving vehicles.  Led by Representative Patty Lundstrom (Gallup) and sponsored by five colleagues from throughout the state, House Bill 270 supports mobility testing on the State’s public roads by clarifying notification requirements to the NM Department of Transportation.  NMDoT will oversee program rules for autonomous vehicles so those used in the State meet federal standards and operate in compliance with applicable traffic laws.  The law also allows for truck platooning which can have the effect of increasing road capacity.  For the industry, the new law has the effect of announcing the that the State welcomes the industry, by streamlining process and creating clarity for mobility testing and development on public roads.

This, alongside an structured system of special assets and infrastructure across an entire state creates a unique and valuable product for the mobility sector.  Rep. Lundstrom observed “autonomous vehicles are already operating in our state under specific contracts, but House Bill 270 will bring needed regulation to the industry.  This smart legislation provides an exciting new economic opportunity for the state and sets up in statute the authority to regulate and give guidance to this emerging industry as it develops and grows.”

State elected officials have recognized the massive restructuring and associated economic development potential in this area Rep. Harry Garcia (Grants) added, “Right now, New Mexico has a unique opportunity to be a national leader in this emerging and fascinating industry. By allowing testing to take place in New Mexico, we’re encouraging the companies developing these technologies to increase their presence here, fostering a potentially strong economic driver for our state.”   Rep. Hochman-Vigil (Albuquerque) further explained “huge companies, from Amazon to Tesla to General Motors, are investing in research surrounding driverless cars, and New Mexico cannot afford to be behind the eight ball in this innovative new industry.”

In its effort to establish New Mexico as a mobility technology center, the Mobility Strategy is being launched in the Gallup region with the development of the Gallup Region Mobility Investment District.  GLDPartners is coordinating with the Greater Gallup Economic Development Corporation, City of Gallup and the State of New Mexico on the Investment District.  Led by Rep. Patty Lundstrom as the Executive Director of the GGEDC,  a plan has been set-out with the US Economic Development Administration to establish a specialty mobility hub around the Gallup Airport. Due to its strategic location along I-40, specialized infrastructure and assets will be developed to support mobility research and development and deployment.

The  Gallup Mobility Investment District will support both autonomy and advanced propulsion system development with an ecosystem that includes the following:

  • Specialized closed course research and product development complex
  • On-road in district product technology testing
  • Terminus hub for designated I-40 Mobility Testing Corridor between Gallup and Albuquerque
  • Product assembly and component manufacturing sites adjacent to R&D assets
  • I-40 Truck Mobility Complex for supporting automated truck movements and clean-energy fueling/charging

Further development of the New Mexico Mobility Laboratory is envisioned to occur throughout the State, with specialty emphasis hubs in Albuquerque and in Southern New Mexico in the Las Cruces-Santa Teresa region.

  • As the largest urban hub in the State, Albuquerque’s central location and connected highway network positions it well to support truck and passenger vehicle equipment development and transport services. The region is located at the intersection of I-40 and I-25, with a complex extensive urban roadway network and a very deep well of engineering expertise offering an extremely high ratio of technologists and engineers.
  • In the Las Cruces- Santa Teresa region, the mobility specialty is proposed around cargo handling due to its rich strategic logistics setting.  This includes: 1) I-10/I-25 intersection, 2) unique two-state same-day setting (at the Texas boundary), 3) important international trade crossing, 4) new rail intermodal facility, and 5) a developing cargo airport.

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