Episode 164 - North Texas Nurtures Next Generation of Mobility

When it comes to cultivating new mobility technologies at scale, one sprawling ecosystem in North Texas is in a league of its own.

AllianceTexas is a 27,000-acre master-planned industrial, mixed-use and residential development in the Dallas-Fort Worth region. As a global logistics hub, this visionary development has transformed the North Texas economy by generating more than 66,000 jobs and an estimated $111 billion in regional economic impact.

With a unique set of air and ground logistics, the Mobility Innovation Zone offers full access to the resources and partnerships necessary to scale and commercialize new technologies at scale—as well as a full spectrum of AV mobility use cases from first to last mile.

For the inside scoop, we sat down with Ian Kinne, Director of Logistics Innovation at Hillwood, the developer of AllianceTexas and leader of the Mobility Innovation Zone, to discuss technology commercialization and the future of mobility and supply chain efficiencies for Hillwood’s partners and the region.

Meet Our Guest

Director of Logistics Innovation, Hillwood

Ian Kinne serves as Director of Logistics Innovation at Hillwood, the developer of AllianceTexas and leader of the Mobility Innovation Zone. Ian leads the planning and implementation of the surface freight innovation program and affiliated real estate and investment opportunities. He works with established global corporate leaders as well as mid-to late-stage, logistics-focused companies to encourage technology commercialization within the Mobility Innovation Zone. Ultimately, these efforts drive the future of mobility and supply chain efficiencies for Hillwood’s partners and the region.


Grayson Brulte:

Hello, I'm your host, Grayson Brulte. Welcome to another episode of SAE Tomorrow Today, a show about emerging technology and trends in mobility with leaders and innovators who make it all happen. On today's episode, we're absolutely honored to be joined by Ian Kinne, Director of Logistics Innovation, Hillwood.

On today's episode, he'll discuss AllianceTexas, a master plan development in Fort Worth, Texas. We hope you enjoy this episode. Ian, welcome to podcast. 

Ian Kinne:

Thanks, Grayson. It's great to be here. Excited to talk to you a little more today. 

Grayson Brulte:

Excited to have you here because what Mr. Perot, Jr. is building at Hillwood is the future.

Mr. Perot, Jr. and the team that you're on, you're doing it by embracing innovation. You're leaning into the future. You're being forward-looking and you have the blessing of DFW, in my opinion, being the capital of autonomous trucking. It's ground zero. Everything is being built and deployed in the DFW region where you're located.

Ian, from your perspective, being based in the region, what is the current state of the autonomous trucking market? 

Ian Kinne:

Once again, thanks for having me on this. It's really great to be here and when you think about where autonomous trucking has come from, really in the past, three, four years.

It's really at a very different point. Right now here in DFW, we're starting to see obviously there, there's some consolidation in the industry and some headlines right now. But at the same time, you're seeing a lot of great successes by some of the companies too, doing actually commercial loads and revenue routes for new partners every day.

And so you're seeing, starting to see that density built in certain lanes and expanding beyond what was initially maybe one or two key lanes at a DFW is now starting to be. The hub for really a lot of networks to expand across the country. So we're very excited and I think we're really still very early on in the in, in the growth cycle of this industry.

Grayson Brulte:

To me, the consolidation is healthy cuz it allows more capital to go toward our successful companies. They're generating revenue. The most commonly trafficked route is Dallas Fort Worth to Houston now is expanding from Dallas, Fort Worth to Oklahoma City and we're also seeing stuff as far as Atlanta. So we're starting to generate revenue.

The industry is getting very healthy. Hillwood at the end of the day. I'm gonna call you. You're an innovative real estate company. You're not the typical boring, hi, I wanna sell you real estate. You're leading into the future and you're innovating. How is Hillwood participating in this market? Are you developing the autonomous trucking depots of the future?

Are you developing the infrastructure for these companies to scale when they drop their loads off? How are you participating in this market? 

Ian Kinne:

Yeah, I think when you look back at kinda what you talked about in the intro to this just Ross Perot, Jr., and really the genesis of our company is very entrepreneurial and think creatively, but also think about how the world is gonna change and will continue to change, and especially how our business will continue to change. So whenever we embarked on this mission of, really understanding autonomy and how it impact our business, the goal was really just to be prepared for what. How we develop buildings that be able to stand the test of time.

So there's certainly that aspect. So our conventional real estate business has to be able to adapt over time and certainly change and evolve. But also where it makes sense, we're certainly open to and have been working with multiple different trucking companies on autonomous trucking companies, on what does a depot look like and is there an opportunity for us to develop alongside them?

Be helpful, but, it doesn't always make sense. There's certain markets where we're not active in currently as a company, but certainly here in AllianceTexas where it's our really our mothership project where everything started. Our ability to build facilities like what we built for TuSimple, but there's a lot more ability and appetites to do that. 

Grayson Brulte:

When you're developing facility for the likes of TuSimple, Gatik is also operating in, in the area and they're very public that without, at Walmart, do you develop it? At some point in the future, you can either repurpose it or redevelop it for another tenant, or are these completely bespoke developments that you're building for each individual unique customer? 

Ian Kinne:

I think the good part about where the industry is right now is that a lot of 'em look to us as the real estate experts to help define what the characteristics of the building need to be.

So understanding, what the, what the layout is, the functions ultimately and help with the programming of that. So fortunately we've been able to really help with kinda the formulation of what it looks like. I would say though, that just generally speaking, we'd rather not build a building that is incredibly purpose-built for one user.

That just really hurts our ability to release it at the end of that life. So a lot of the things we have built are, how could a different company utilize this? What is the tenant mix? If it's not autonomous trucking, who is the tenant? But ultimately, I think the point, what we were saying earlier is that, In our hope is that a lot of these spaces continue to be incubator spaces for other opt autonomous trucking companies to grow and commercialize and continue to build their businesses out of, hopefully here in AllianceTexas, and hopefully to continue to be a big part of our story also. 

Grayson Brulte:

When you're developing the depot, what role does the bandwidth, the fiber coming into the building, which you can use for multiple tenants and the energy redundancy place since a lot of your current customers today and customers of the future will put, you wanna call at the edge onsite data centers. 

Ian Kinne:

Yeah. When you think about real estate and kinda the life cycle of it, the three kinds of primary characteristics of real estate are what, the three biggest things you need care about. It's always been location.

And that means something different for everybody. But what we're starting to really realize and determine here is that real estate's evolved from what used to be just a pure square footage equation to then it became more of a cubic footage that you had, your square footage, plus the clear height and how much you could actually store in that building to now.

It's just the cubic footage, but it's really, especially when you're starting to deploy autonomy and advanced technologies, it's ingress, egress, it's access to the site, and then you start layering in things like, okay, if I wanna deploy electric fleets, I need to have enough power at the site.

If I have a, heavy conveyor operation or a high automation side of the facility, I need a lot of power. And then at the end of this, you layer in what we're talking about today with autonomy and kind of the. The terminals the layer of data connectivity is massive. So having strong fiber at those sites is certainly a big part of the site selection process.

So I certainly see a future, especially when autonomy and future fuels are really at scale, where it's not just square footage or a cubic footage or a, access. It's a. The power and the data is another huge part of that equation.

Grayson Brulte:

As part of that equation, are you putting redundancy there? If for perhaps there's an incident outside of your control where a line gets snapped that your customer does not have to worry cause there's another redundant line coming in.

Ian Kinne:

Yeah, so we're doing a lot of work, so right now, I think I can, address the elephant in the room to a degree. Texas has had some headlines with some grid instability issues in the past, especially with winter storms and things like that. I think we're in a much better spot now, and I think the state is working diligently on addressing that.

But so are we. And I think for our customers, we wanna be able to say that, we're building. We're not just building a building. We're allowing their business to be resilient and reliable for when the next one of these supply chain interruptions happens. With that, we're doing a lot of work on what we call our smart port.

So it's, we have about 1100 acres in between the BNSF and intermodal facility in our Alliance airport here. That we manage on behalf of the city Fort Worth. So we have 1100 acres there. We can do about 15 million feet. And within that we're starting to develop and design a private a private grid for that network having actually redundant power on site. Plus we'll have dual feed from two different actual primary power providers. 

Grayson Brulte:

You have dual feeds from power. You're building the own grid. You have the BNSF railhead. You have a large UPS facility, and JB Hunt has a presence there. You have the Fort Worth Airport, which goes back to the founding of Alliance.

What don't you have when a big logistics company wants to play? Obviously you don't have the ocean, but besides the ocean, what don't you have? 

Ian Kinne

That's the big one, so if we were to say, if you were to say just the container volumes coming through alliance, depending on which metric you read, would be around the 50th busiest seaport in the world if we were on a body of water.

But we're not, we're in the middle of Texas and the nearest river is probably 20 miles south of us. We're not near water. We're in the middle of the prairie here in Texas. But I think it also is, it creates a really incredible ecosystem to have all of these All these different elements to build what we call, really that's what we call our infrastructure here in alliance.

And why I think a big reason why autonomous, the autonomous industry, especially with supply chains been so attracted to Alliance is that very, there's very few places in the world where you can have, one of the largest ports with inter remote container volumes. You have one of the busiest airports, the Alliance Airport, now Perot Field, is the 20th busiest airport in the US As far as cargo volumes, you have I 35 bifurcating the whole project. And then ultimately you've got a large landowner and landlord here in a Hillwood that has, 35 years of experience and over 55 million feet developed to date.

So all of that creates a very compelling story for someone as far as why they would be here. And not to mention, the great customers we get to work with, such as the UPSs and the JB Hunts and the FedExes and the Walmarts, the Targets, the, all those groups are here. So there's a lot of reasons and we're happy to, talk about any one of those reasons ever.

Grayson Brulte:

Are you seeing synergies blossom between the autonomy companies that are deployed in Hillwood and your, let's call 'em your more traditional customers? Obviously GA is very public with Walmart and they did the price release that they're operating with Walmart inside of Hillwood. Are you seeing other synergies start to bloom in the Hillwood ecosystem? Cause I want for our listeners to know it's not just commercial. Hillwood also has residential areas inside of your developments. 

Ian Kinne:

Yeah, that's a great point. When you look at Hillwood as a company, the group that I work for is Hillwood Properties, and that's the group that's behind. AllianceTexas, which is a 27,000 acre master planned community here in DFW.

And that's all the infrastructure I just mentioned that's here, but two of our other big businesses. First you may know Hillwood Investment Properties, which is our kind of international development arm that's active all over the US and every major industrial market. It's also active in Canada and Western Europe.

One of the largest private development companies for industrial in the world. And then also here we have Hillwood communities. So Hillwood communities is really born out of, when you started Alliance, we were developing in the mid, really the middle of nowhere and you had to look. And when you're talking with these customers, the first question we've gotten since day one is, where do I get my labor from?

And when you're building warehouses in the middle of nowhere at the time, and I can say that, cause I grew up out here, the we, it was, there was nothing else out here. There was no affordable housing. There were no strip malls, there was no single family communities, there was no apartment communities.

And so we started building all of those things to really build that true community. And now that. That group is called Hillwood Communities and we build large master point developments all over the state of Texas. We're one, one of the largest lot development companies in North Texas.

Now, some of our big projects, Harvest, Pecan Square, both those are about 3,000 to 4,000 homes. And we're about to start on Hunter Ranch, which is up to 6,000 plus homes in that one. The great part about this is as we work with all these advanced mobility groups, very similar to how I talked about on the kind of heavy supply chain, the infrastructure package, having the ability to have a, a close brother in hill communities that is excited about technology and wants to include that as part of new communities.

It's really helpful. So we've worked with groups like Clevon. So Clevon is an Estonian-based, last mile delivery group to start deploying here locally in our communities starting with Harvest hopefully here soon. And then also, you may be familiar with the Bell Flight that we did. So that was the first delivery of a package via drone here in North Texas.

And we did that from our flight test center up along BNSF right away, and then ultimately up to Pecan Square where it delivered a package to the middle of the town. So that was kinda the first one, and that was early on in this phase. And I think that's a good testament to how much the industry's changed because you now have groups like Wing who are who incubate also outta the flight test center here in Alliance.

And are now active at multiple communities across DFW. So a few different examples there, but that's certainly how we break the business up and why the community is a huge part of this. 

Grayson Brulte:

I remember years ago Bell had a very large display at CES 2018 in Vegas, and they were very proud to talk about what they did at Hillwood and was a very big part of their display.

How did the flight Test center come about? Was that born out of the history and the heritage with the Fort Worth Airport? Obviously, I know we're gonna go back years here, but you did, you worked with Uber when they had Uber Elevate. Is that when the flight test center came online, or when did it really start to incubate?

Ian Kinne:

Really full life cycle with Bell is the, actually the answer. So that facility was built for Bell as a helicopter training facility years ago, and they used that to do helicopter training missions between the flight test center, what it's called now, and their headquarters down in Hurst. And so they were flying helicopters back and forth between there.

Doing training missions over time, they were able to consolidate their training for helicopters down in Hurst at their facility. And we regained control over that property. So for a little bit it was, what do we do with this thing? It's very specialized.

So going back to your kind of question about specialized real estate infrastructure, It's very specialized, but I think what we realized very quickly was the way that the location that it was in a very interesting intersection of different airspace classifications here in DFW. So you had Class B, Class D, and Class G all within really one area and very tight area all under the AllianceTexas Control Tower.

What that does is it allows some great companies to come to alliance and really test in a complicated airspace. So to, to prove this technology's commercial is commercially ready. You can't be testing it in a desert. You have to test in an environment that is really, truly more what you're gonna be seeing in a commercial setting.

And so companies will come there. It's private land ownership. It's hidden from road and they can test everything. We have everything from obviously package delivery drones to defense to, photography to universities, schools that use it. And then now actually it's the amount of paving we have out there is actually great for some of these kind of autonomous vehicles to test also.

It's actually a very, been a very crucial part of our overall story here that, a lot of these companies are beyond the, what you think is maybe the initial kind of product testing phase, but things do come up and they're constantly adapting and implementing new technologies onto their vehicles that require. Maybe a little more of a secure and private setting. So it's been good. 

Grayson Brulte:

The private setting's tremendous. There's a lot of companies that you work with and interact with that are testing out tire blowouts. Now they're getting very public on that. Is that an example? Something could be tested in private to test a tire blowout and then once they perfect, but then they can move on. 

Ian Kinne:

Yeah, that's certainly something you could do out there. Tire blowout, you'd have maybe pedestrian crossings. You could simulate that. And then, obviously the drone missions and things like that, you could certainly test.

So there's a whole litany of things that groups are tested out there and We like to just be a partner and obviously a convenor, but ultimately an enabler for a lot of this technology. 

Grayson Brulte:

With the complicated airspace, are you seeing eVTOL interest from eVTOL companies wanting to test their complicated airspace?

Because if you're gonna operate in downtown Los Angeles, downtown San Francisco, or Miami, that airspace is complicated. There's major international airports. There's a lot of. Interesting situations around there. Is that something that's potentially being tested there? 

Ian Kinne:

Yeah, you go back to the genesis of this mobility innovation strategy that we're working on here at Hillwood, and a lot of it was started with our partnership with Uber Elevate.

So the flying air taxi business of Uber Elevate, and a big thing we looked at from the very get go was. Airspace, classifications, air corridors through urban areas, and ultimately the power was a huge part of that equation also. So all of those things will impact the eVTOL industry. I think, we're very much believers in the eVTOL industry, but think it's, there's still some time before it's commercially viable and scalable.

But I think you're starting to see some great news like with Joby recently in their military contracts and things like that, where there's some really great applications for the technology that will help it reach a commercial level soon. 

Grayson Brulte:

When we've reached that commercial level, I'm not putting a timeline on it. Do you see one of the use cases of moving residents from the Hillwood community to the DFW airport as an example? 

Ian Kinne:

Yeah. You start thinking about, really the commuter aviation model and how that completely changes, where and how you locate where you choose to live. It's pretty, pretty interesting.

And, when, whenever we're working with Uber, one of the great things they had obviously was the Uber data. And one of the cool things about it was they were able to just point and say that, one of the most frequent, if not the most frequent route in DFW was from DFW Airport to Frisco, which is, a 40 minute drive.

But if you could do that in an eVTOL, I mean that completely changes maybe where you choose to locate and what kind of home you have and what the amenity suite is in that community. So it goes back to why is the real estate company we care, is that. That completely evolves what we look at with our amenities package and our projects, but also maybe where we choose to locate some of these buildings also.

Grayson Brulte:

That's interesting. And in 2019, Hillwood launched a Mobility Innovation Zone. It's commonly known as the MIZ. That's what put you on my map. When you made that announcement, believe Deloitte was your partner on that. Why? What did you see in the market when you built the MIZ and for a listener that doesn't know what the MIZ is, what is the MIZ?

Ian Kinne: 

Yeah. So you know, when you think about. Really going back to what I mentioned with the Uber Elevate model, and we learned very quickly. Like I mentioned, there was gonna be a lot of challenges beyond just. Build a vehicle and grow the business. Infrastructure's a huge part of that. I mentioned the power with Uber Elevate, and then similarly we worked with a group called Drive.Ai, you probably know to stand up a shuttle comp, a shuttle group or a shuttle business here in also at Frisco Station.

And that was shuttling people from an office park up to a restaurant base and then ultimately a apartment area also. So they did about 7,000 rides before. Ultimately that group was. Acquired by Apple and you guys probably know the history. But with, to do that, we stood up a private 5G network with AT&T.

So a couple things just right off the gate we realized was that one technology was real, but also it would require infrastructure to really work and also a heavy partnership model. We thought, it was really no better company in the world than Hillwood at partnerships and infrastructure.

And then the third thing we really realized was that the adoption of these technologies would really be led by logistics and supply chain. So the movement of freight rather than the movement of people. So when you combine all those factors, really Alliance Texas's in our, was in our mind and still is today the best place to do it.

Given all the infrastructure I've talked about, given our history out here. Also given the density of freight within Alliance, there's a really great opportunity to start deploying use cases here. So really the mobility innovation zone was, how do we put a name around this that describes what we're doing beyond just Alliance Texas beyond just our day-to-day business out here.

And that's been the mobility innovation zone. It's really bringing access, bringing companies here into the ecosystem of Alliance Texas and helping them commercialize their businesses really with freight critical resources and partnerships for them to adopt and scale autonomy drones, really any technology that's, that we can figure out will really be transformational for the supply chain moving forward.

Grayson Brulte: 

Thing that you have at Hillwood, you have the ability for companies to generate revenue and consistent revenue just because of all the freight that's moving from there. What were the conversations like in the early days when you were approached by an autonomous, let's say autonomous trucking company, or perhaps it was a middle model of attic and saying, Hey, Hillwood, We know you're really not in this, but we've got this autonomous technology and we're interested in deploying.

What were some of those early conversations like? Was it skeptical on your part or did you immediately see the opportunity based on your heritage? 

Ian Kinne:

I think it was probably more the, it was certainly more the latter, but I think there's obviously the natural skeptic, but I think as a company we've been so ingrained with just the, just be open to every opportunity.

Cause you never know what door it's gonna open. And I think with us it's just, we thought it was a, a crazy idea, but, Our whole company is based off crazy ideas. We started with, the vision of Hillwood and Alliance was something that had never been done before, at least in this scale.

And you look back at the Perot Systems, the original days of EDS, which is what Mr. Perot started, that was the first time outsourced it had ever been done. And now that's a huge part of the economy. And so you think about just as a company, where our roots come from and what we are today.

It was really a no-brainer to start to, to be a part of this industry in a meaningful way. And also we felt an obligation. There was really whenever I started talking about Why not us or who else could do this? And I think the answer was we didn't think anyone at the time could or would do it. So we're excited to still be a part of that industry 

Grayson Brulte:

With the crazy ideas mentality in place. How do you go about thinking about autonomy on a regular basis? Are you trying to figure out what's next and how do I get them to Hillwood before they go somewhere else?

Ian Kinne:

There's some of that, I think it's, a lot of it is telling our story. Cause I think when you understand the story, what we have here, what we're building, the resources that are in place to help you succeed. It's really it's a no-brainer that you, that this is the right place to be. With that said, there's companies that have no idea that we exist.

There's companies that have attachments to certain areas, but, our goal with all of this is, it's a very it's a very, it's a very thorough marketing plan. It's how do you. Get companies that are trying to grow and scale their business. So one, work with partners, but also we wanna be ready when they have a manufacturing deal or they have a operations facility and R&D facility office requirement. We want to be the real estate resource for them. 

Grayson Brulte:

Is there manufacturing operations today? Currently in Hillwood? 

Ian Kinne:

Oh yeah. Yeah. There's a lot of manufacturing here in Alliance Texas. A really great example of kind of this advanced mobility manufacturing.

We've got a lot of manufacturing, but one of the really kinda more prominent ones is this group called MP Materials. So MP Materials or Mountain Pass Materials, is a company that is an entirely rarer entirely domestic rarer supply chain building magnets for the EV industry. So those magnets are all gonna be ma manufactured here in Alliance Texas using ores that are mined in California.

And so that'll be, so their primary customers. The big one that you may know of is General Motors, but also the US Department of Defense is another big one. So they're building that magnet where we are building that magnet manufacturing facility for them here in Alliance.

And that's a really big part of, not just advanced mobility, but also critical supply chains for the US military. So we're really excited about that. But also we have more fun ones like a Callaway Golf, their final assembly of golf clubs is here and things like that. So we've got a we've got everything from very heavy manufacturing to, also a lot more of the light manufacturing too.

Grayson Brulte:

The Callaway experience in Carlsbad haven't been to yours was fantastic when they fit you for clubs, but I digress. When you look at everything happening in Hillwood, when you look at manufacturing, It creates jobs and they're sticky jobs. That's the thing when Carlos Gimenez was mayor of Miami-Dade County, when Argo, when they were still around, he wanted to figure out a way to create manufacturing jobs cuz of stickiness and the benefits of the economy.

You're creating manufacturing jobs. I like the MP Materials cause you're getting the national security angle on that and that's getting shipped there. You have the ability to move the freight cause it's gonna be heavy to move those magnets. How are you approaching autonomous solutions for drayage because, JB Hunt's there.

They have a very big intermodal business. BNFS is there. You have FedEx, UPS, and I believe there's an Amazon facility as well. Are you looking at autonomous trade solutions and then we're seeing the big trend now around how do we electrify an anonymized trade solution? 

Ian Kinne:

Yeah, so I think when you look at what autonomy is really good at, it's the classic fixed, repeatable routes. When you look at what's, what electrification is good at, it's also more repeatable, shorter length hauls. And so when you combine those two kind of really transformational technologies, like I mentioned earlier, you have a really interesting business case for deploying for drayage. So you look at here in Alliance and like I mentioned, we're currently facilitated, that's about 1.1 million containers per year.

And BNSF's goal is to grow that to well over 1.5, approaching 2 million containers annually. So that's a lot of stuff that has to move and it has to move efficiently. We're working very closely with a list of partners to, as part of our Smart Port project, to start deploying autonomous and ultimately autonomous drayage.

That'll essentially, you envision almost like a conveyor belt of containers moving out from the BNSF facility to an out outside container depot. And ultimately those can then filter out into the warehouse of an alliance or beyond alliance and into other facilities. But ultimately what that does, it creates a more efficient supply chain that frees up.

Capacity for BNSF to push more throughput through their facility. So we work very closely with them and we're really excited about continuing to grow that partnership with BNSF, but also the drayage providers and the drayage community, which is traditionally a very mom-and-pop industry.

When you look at really most of the drivers out here are very much mom-and-pop. JB Hunt's by far the biggest, but there's a long list of other companies that are active out here. 

Grayson Brulte:

Shareholders love efficiency, especially if you're a shareholder in a rail company. Even BNSF is part of Berkshire Hathaway, investors in Berkshire still love efficiency. As you start to create the smart port, you introduce automation. Is that something that Hillwood’s building on behalf of your partners or you're bringing in partners to it? How does it look from a development standpoint? 

Ian Kinne:

I always wanna say never, but I don't think we have any plans, given the capital needs to be a autonomous developer. With that said, we're we've been fortunate through all this to really meet the best in the business, best in class across every different type of autonomy, whether that's the Class A or the yard trucks, or the groups that are doing the middle mile, like Gatik or even the first and last mile, like I mentioned, Clevon and others.

So really having that full kind of end-to-end autonomy kind of vision is ultimately what we're after here. So we're working with a long list of partners to deploy everything from the microgrid strategy, like I mentioned earlier. To autonomous and electrified drainage, to container depots, to telecom infrastructure, things like that.

So you think about just the list of things that we talked about that we are saying is critical to long-term infrastructure and real estate. We're making sure we have every one of those boxes just checked with the Smart Port development. 

Grayson Brulte:

You're doing it. You did a wonderful job when you put the Ford Fort Worth conference on. You put a really great, diverse group of individuals together, individuals from telecom, individuals from REITs that operate the infrastructure for cell towers. You had individuals that work in autonomy. You had individuals your sister company that invest in this and partners at Alliance who brought together a really good group.

And the common denominator in this conversation and the wonderful event that you put on was Hillwood innovates. It's clear and simple that you're looking to embrace the future. With that in mind, in your opinion, what is the future of Alliance Texas? 

Ian Kinne:

I think a lot of what's exciting about my role is I have I'm asked that question often, and our team here is asked that question often.

And I think the answer is we don't know, but we want to be able to provide the infrastructure that says, we don't know today. But we're prepared for whatever it might be in the future. And so the future of alliance, we've got a long, certainly enough land for my career and maybe the generation behind me to continue to build and develop out here in Alliance.

We'll continue to work hand in hand with our customers. And I think ultimately as data starts to more become, become more common and really proliferate throughout our supply chain ecosystem, I think we're gonna have a more collaborative and ultimately less siloed supply chain. And I think there's no better place once again than Alliance to really bring all those pieces together, especially from a data perspective.

Grayson Brulte: 

It's clear that you're prepared for the future and you're ready to build the future. You have the technology and the infrastructure to build, and most importantly, you have the land and you can't magical legality, poop, and add land. You have that. Ian, as we look to wrap up this insightful conversation, what would you like our listeners take away with them today?

Ian Kinne:

There's a lot of things I could say at the end of this. I think, when we're starting to think about, the future, I think what I'd like to encourage is that. When you think about the transformation of autonomy, I don't think, I had a conversation with one of our, one of our really great partners here in Alliance and for a lot of these jobs, the, the question is, what happens to the jobs?

And I think we've seen in history, technology has always evolved and jobs never been lo have not been lost. And I think for a lot of these industries the reality is if they don't innovate and they don't introduce technologies, they will not be able to have a business in the next 10 years. My generation doesn't want to sit in a cab of a truck all day. We don't wanna, be working the cold shift at night when it's, when there's snow on the ground or be away from our families. But I think what technology enables us to do is have a lot more flexibility and also reliability in the supply chain that all of us rely on, whether or not we see it or not.

So we're really excited to be a part of that transformation and we think it's really just getting started here. So I encourage you, if you haven't, if you haven't been to Texas, you haven't been to Fort Worth, To come down and see us, and we'd love to have you. It's beautiful. 

Grayson Brulte:

Autonomy creates jobs. Autonomy secures to supply chain. Autonomy is a very positive economic impact, and most importantly, autonomy creates jobs. Today is tomorrow. Tomorrow's today. The future is AllianceTexas. Ian, thank you so much for coming on SAE Tomorrow Today. 

Ian Kinne:

Thanks, Grayson. 

Grayson Brulte:

Thank you for listening to SAE Tomorrow Today. If you've enjoyed this episode and would like to hear more, please kindly rate review and let us know what topics you'd like for us to explore next. 

Be sure to join us next week as we speak with Jesse Schneider, Director of Logistics Innovation at ZEV Station. He'll share his insights and thoughts on the recent SAE standards about the wireless power transfer of electric vehicles.

SAE International makes no representations as to the accuracy of the information presented in this podcast. The information and opinions are for general information SAE International does not endorse, approve, recommend, or certify any information, product, process, service, or organization presented or mentioned in this podcast.


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