Innovation, transportation at heart of Sandoval speech

Updated January 12, 2018 - 6:51 pm

Car-summoning watches, voice-responsive computers, artificial intelligence and robo-deliveries were pipe dreams when people such as Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval were growing up watching television shows like “Knight Rider,” “The Jetsons.”

But thanks to rapid advancements in technology, the dreams have emerged from TV screens to consumers’ hands, as seen this week in Las Vegas at CES.

“We’re living in a time that the science-fiction world we all grew up with is becoming reality,” Sandoval said during a National Governors Association speech Friday at the Monte Carlo.

Sandoval said innovation and technology creates opportunities for states to find ways to benefit their residents. He highlighted neighboring Utah, which has partnered with Amazon to use the company’s voice-controlled Alexa devices to prep teenagers for driving tests by quizzing them on the rules before they get their licenses.

Sandoval, chairman of the association, also focused on transportation and energy innovations — especially items such as autonomous vehicles and distributed power — and how governors can use those tech advancements to better their states.

“Transportation and energy are two of the most rapidly evolving areas that are reshaping, not just our present, but also our future,” Sandoval said.

But advancements can’t happen without cooperation from state, local and federal authorities in ensuring that the proper infrastructure and policies are in place, he said. Sandoval also called on the federal government to match the “rapid pace of autonomous technological innovation” by laying out vehicle safety standards.

“To maintain and modernize our roads, bridges and other vital systems — to ensure we are ready for the transportation technology of the future — states and local governments need a strong and steady federal partner,” Sandoval said.

Contact Colton Lochhead at or 702-383-4638. Follow @ColtonLochhead on Twitter.

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