Ben Pierce to Lead AV/CV Technology Program at HDR
Brings Pioneering Research in Automated Vehicles
(October 5, 2016) - Ben Pierce, industry expert and thought leader in the emerging field of autonomous and connected vehicles (AV/CV), has joined HDR as AV/CV program manager.
Based in Columbus, Ohio, Pierce joins HDR as a national thought leader drawing on more than 25 years of experience with transportation technology. Prior to joining HDR, he led Battelle's transportation business line, focusing on developing these technologies and leading multiple research and development, task-order contracts with the United States Department of Transportation.
Pierce's vision and understanding of transportation technology made him a key contributor to Columbus, Ohio's successful Smart City Challenge application. Columbus bested six other cities and secured a $40 million grant from the USDOT, as well as $10 million from Vulcan and $90 million in other public and private funds, to implement its Smart City vision.
"Technologies in the transportation industry are advancing at remarkable speeds and those advances will accelerate during the next five years," Pierce said. "HDR is well positioned to advance these technologies because they will be implemented at the state and local level, where HDR has the commitment and history of supporting client agencies as a trusted partner."
An Ohio native, Pierce earned his bachelor's in mathematics and his master's in statistics from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Research, development and deployment of AV/CV technologies have comprised much of his work for the past decade. His experiences with this evolving technology include research, development and prototypes of connected vehicle and dynamic-mobility applications on behalf of the USDOT. His notable USDOT research projects include: Transit Safety Retrofit Package; Transit Bus Stop Pedestrian Warning; and Response Emergency Staging and Communications Uniform Management and Evacuation (R.E.S.C.U.M.E).
Pierce's arrival at HDR coincides with efforts at the firm to develop tools that will assist transportation agencies in understanding possible scenarios associated with the inevitable changes transportation technology will bring. These tools will allow them to assess smart technologies such as those associated with automated vehicles before integrating them into their strategic planning efforts, according to Bernie Arseneau, HDR director of traffic management systems.
"Ben's hands-on experience with the nuts and bolts of automated-vehicle technology complements our higher-level understanding of technology's role in shaping the future of smart infrastructure," Arseneau said. "Ben will help HDR bring even greater value to our clients as they plan for the impacts technology will have on their communities."
HDR has partnered with clients to shape communities and push the boundaries of what's possible since 1917. We specialize in engineering, architecture, environmental and construction services. With nearly 10,000 employees in more than 225 locations around the world, we think global and act local.