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Posted on: January 3, 2019

North Texas wants to keep up the momentum in 2019 as a tech testing ground

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Melissa Repko, Staff Writer

Dockless bike-share companies have continued to use Dallas as a laboratory. This year, new options were added to the mix: electric scooters from California-based Bird and Razor and from Lime, which also offers bikes and electric bikes for rent. The number of bikes dropped as the city of Dallas approved new rules and Chinese companies Ofo and MoBike left because of financial troubles. But there may be expansion again in 2019: Jump, a rechargeable electric bike company acquired by Uber, has filed an application to bring 2,000 e-bikes to Dallas. 

In Frisco, autonomous vehicles from Mountain View, Calif.-based Drive.ai began shuttling around employees who work at Hall Park. They also began driving around concert-goers and sports fans in Arlington's entertainment district.

Ride-hailing giant Uber touted progress toward Uber Air, a new service that would allow commuters to travel through the skies instead of on heavily trafficked roads. Dallas will be one of the first cities to pilot the new service. An overgrown field in Frisco is becoming a vertiport, a departure and landing site, for the air taxis.

And along with transportation, the Dallas area has been a magnet for other kinds of innovations. Walmart-owned Sam's Club opened a one-of-a-kind store on Lower Greenville in Dallas that will test out new technologies, such as augmented reality, that could be added to its nationwide stores. It also opened an office in the West End neighborhood of downtown Dallas with software engineers, data scientists and user-experience designers. Blue Cross Blue Shield also turned a West End building into a health care innovation lab.

View original article at Dallas News: https://www.dallasnews.com/business/business/2018/12/28/north-texas-wants-keep-momentum-tech-testing-ground

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