The Premise
In this episode of our Tech On Series, the Tech on Tap team looks at how we move in our cities and towns. The team starts by asking how are things changing for consumers and how are manufacturers adapting to the biggest disruptors in their industries. Because of innovations like 5G internet connectivity, every level of the supply chain is having to consider how to create better products and how to meet the changing needs of customers in a changing culture. The team also asks how cities and municipalities are planning to adapt to the changes in personal transit throughout their towns and what cities are doing to bring public transit into the modern era.

The Guests
Erick Kirks:
Erick Kirks is the Marketing Director of Johnson Automotive Group, overseeing the promotional efforts of teams in North Carolina, Florida, and Maryland. His job is always evolving with the new ways that customers search and purchase cars. He is trying to create brand loyalty in a tech environment that increasingly shy away from that notion. In our talk with Erick, he speaks on the true disruptors in the automotive industry and the opportunities for growth because of technology. He talks about the hurdles of seeing fully autonomous vehicles and how even connected cars are at risk of not being overwhelmingly adopted because of the inherent risk incurred by the end user.

Johnson Automotive’s objective in customer retention is to double down on what has kept them in business for over 59 years by keeping a customer focus while still integrating new age tech and innovation in the car buying process. Dealership amenities like VR test drives and the reduced time it takes to purchase a car from a dealership are a couple of things that have made Johnson Automotive a mainstay in the automotive industry when uncertainty is forcing some dealerships out of the market.

Joe Milazzo:
Joe Milazzo is the Executive Director of the Regional Transportation Alliance (RTA) and his job is to advocate for the business community concerning transportation in the greater Triangle region. For 15 years RTA has been concerned with “accelerating regional transportation priorities, policies, and practices.” In addition to their work on the policy level, RTA puts on events throughout the year and distributes online thought leadership that sets out to inform the business community on potential and present strengths of the Triangle region. In our conversation with him, he talks about the importance of transit in the decision-making process of business and the need to create options rather than full stop solutions that will result in an expensive renovation. Milazzo talks about the cadence of advocating for innovation so that municipalities and citizens are receptive and not resistant to change and innovation.

RTA puts on events all year long and is gearing up for a July event all about the potential for a hyperloop. They also release a weekly blog about new innovations in transit, both locally and nationally focused.

Michael Moore:
Michael Moore is the Director of Transportation for the City of Raleigh. The city of Raleigh’s vision is “To pursue world-class quality of life by actively collaborating with our community towards a fulfilling and inspired future for all,” and his department is setting out to implement that vision in the way citizens move in and around our city and region. Michael talks about what has his department racking their collective brain in relation to moving the city forward in transportation. Moore also talks about the idea of multi-level transportation and its ability to clear roadways for smoother commutes.

Stay up to date on what is happening in the city of Raleigh and how the city is helping citizens move better and faster.

Our Sponsor:
Johnson Automotive Group is a WRAL TechWire partner and the presenting sponsor of Tech on Tap.