2021: A Look Back

“Doing well by doing good” – The mantra that framed Ray Anderson’s sustainable business philosophy, and a guiding principle for The Ray’s work. 

In a time of uncertainty and disruption – from the global health pandemic, weather and climate extremes, and empty shelves and supply chain shortages –  many of us feel forced to decide between the economic growth of our communities and protecting the environment we call home. However, at The Ray, we’re proving through real technologies – just as Ray did – that choosing sustainable solutions and economic value doesn’t have to be a choice at all. Together, it’s a “win-win.”

We believe that the technologies and innovations already exist, today, to make transportation – a system that we all use and need – safer, cleaner and smarter. In fact, transportation infrastructure and assets can unlock solutions to our world’s greatest challenges: the climate crisis, digital poverty, global competitiveness, highway crashes and fatalities, and long-term transportation funding.

That’s why we’re dedicated to transforming the transportation sector. Here’s how.

In 2021, The Ray expanded into new territory. By utilizing public-private-philanthropic partnerships (P4), we’ve enabled transportation agencies to engage technologies through philanthropy, mitigate the risk of implementing innovations in the real world, and scale the technologies that perform and succeed. 

This is the success we saw…

Esri, in partnership with The Ray, created a geospatial tool to determine the right of way (ROW) land most suitable for solar development, expediting solar implementation across the Nation.

Georgia’s “Connected Highway” project added its first OEM partner, Kia, to build on the innovative connected vehicle work led by Panasonic, Georgia DOT and The Ray, and expand its presence throughout the state.

We initiated the exploratory stage of our biomimicry work to investigate the potential of nature-inspired design on The Ray Highway.

The Landscape Lab completed installations for Phases 2 and 3 of our meadow-research plantings with the goal to reduce maintenance costs and provide vital pollinator habitats on our roadsides.

The Ray and Geotab established a data-driven agreement to analyze truck movement patterns that will inform the planning for electrified freight infrastructure. 

We collected and promoted the nation’s best research and data for rubber-modified asphalt – scrap tires paved into longer-lasting, crack-resistant, quieter roads for today and the future. One of the greatest waste streams of all – tires – can build better roads, as its waste grows with the adoption of more EVs and new electric trucks.

The Ray launched a new initiative with our partners at Next Generation Highways that forges a nexus between the transportation, energy and communication sectors to utilize highway ROW land for the co-location of energy transmission lines and broadband communications infrastructure.

And finally, our 18-mile testbed went BIG – more than 15 states big. The Ray is scaling, and we’re not slowing down.

As we close the chapter on another year and look forward to 2022, we want YOU to know solutions are here, and The Ray is ready to solve for challenges in every community. So, thank you. Your support and following of The Ray makes this work possible. You are a part of the solution, and it is coming. 

Let’s drive the future, together.