For almost five years, The Ray has worked to transform 18 miles of Interstate 85 in Troup County, Georgia into a zero fatality, zero carbon and zero waste highway. Those 18 miles are home to almost a dozen projects demonstrating technologies and innovation that exist today and that, when scaled, will make our highways safer, smarter, and more sustainable. That work has been recognized in spades these last few months with recognitions from Atlanta Magazine, The Shorty Awards, and Newsweek.
“I am humbled by these accolades,” said Harriet Anderson Langford, president and founder of The Ray. “When I started The Ray my goal was simple: to honor my father and to live up to his legacy. If he were here today, I know he’d be congratulating us on a job well done, but telling us to get back to work and do more. That’s exactly what we plan to do.”
The success of The Ray is attributed to the unique partnerships that underpin and enable every future-forward project. This year, The Ray formalized its longstanding relationship with the Georgia Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration through a charter, which designated The Ray as “a user-centered, open-innovation ecosystem that integrates concurrent research and innovation goals and processes within a partnership involving government, philanthropic, private sector and advanced technology organizations.” The Ray, its suite of innovations, and the P4 model that enables the infrastructure, research and testing is a scalable, relevant and transferable blueprint for other states and even other countries.
“We share these awards with all our partners, but most importantly with Commissioner McMurry, former Cong. Lynn Westmoreland and the Georgia DOT. Without them, none of this would be possible. Together we are driving the future and leading not just the southeast, but the country,” said Allie Kelly, executive director of The Ray.
Atlanta Magazine recognized The Ray as one of their 2019 Groundbreakers, which this year focused on Environmental Champions because, “you could argue that no leaders are as critical as the ones working to save our planet.” In their write up about The Ray they stated that, “With so many fresh innovations now rumbling down that 18 miles of highway, the recognition may be only starting.”
The Shorty Social Good Awards selected The Ray for “Best in Energy” at an awards ceremony in New York City last week. The Shorty Social Good Awards honor the social good initiatives brands, agencies & nonprofits are taking to make our world a better place. This competition focuses on efforts made by organizations to improve sustainability and diversity internally, foster globally-minded business partnerships and increase employee community and civic engagement. Winners were selected by members of the Real Time Academy of Short Form Arts & Sciences, comprised of luminaries from advertising, media, entertainment and technology. Check out The Ray’s entry.
Finally, Newsweek selected The Ray as one of their top 100 Smart City Partners as part of their 2019 Momentum Awards. The Momentum Awards are an annual celebration of the people and cities propelling the world toward an environmentally sustainable, socially equitable, economically viable future of autonomous mobility and smart urban environments. They recognize companies and partners around the globe, as well as one city, which will be chosen as the "smartest city in the world."
The 100 Smart City Partners award recognizes “partners taking action, whose initiated projects are enacting real change. Whether it's integrating sustainable infrastructure, taking savvy approaches to micromobility, or using big data analytics to inform legislative policy for the betterment of all, each partner is doing something bold and unique that is leading us into the land unknown.”
ABOUT THE RAY
The Ray is a proving ground for the evolving ideas and technologies that will transform the transportation infrastructure of the future, beginning with the corridor of road that is named in memory of Ray C. Anderson (1934-2011), a Georgia native who became a captain of industry and was recognized as a leader in green business when he challenged his company, Atlanta-based Interface, Inc., to reimagine the enterprise as a sustainable company—one that would pursue zero environmental footprint. Chaired by Ray’s daughter Harriet Langford, The Ray is an epiphany of the Ray C. Anderson Foundation. Learn more.