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Thinking Beyond 2030: How This Intern is Enabling Smart, Resilient Cities

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As an intern at Intel, Hiba Ahmed has put her passion for building, sustainable resilient cities to good use. She is currently focused on pursuing a successful go-to-market strategy for public transportation segments. We talked with Hiba about enabling safer, more sustainable transportation and how it connects to the company’s overall RISE strategy. Read below to see why she believes the key to a better future is —you guessed it—developing smart cities.


Q: What do you do at Intel and what do you like about your job?
A: I am a in Intel's IoT Smart Cities and Intelligent Transportation team, which is a part of the Autonomous Transportation and Infrastructure business unit. The team is focused on enabling key stakeholders in the transportation and infrastructure industry to move towards safer and more sustainable transportation.

I believe that technology can have the power to be a great equalizer. And my team and I strongly believe that technology should be used to improve lives, which is reflected in the work that we do every day. What I enjoy most about my role is being able to paint the story of what's possible with technology with a people first mindset and then put it in action.

Q: What do Intel’s RISE strategy and 2030 global impact goals mean to you?
A: I think Intel's RISE 2030 strategy tells me that Intel cares; the people at Intel care.

Collective action is something that is essential to the RISE strategy and 2030 goals and something that I’ve seen reflected in my team as well. Collaboration is central to the work that we do. One of my favorite authors, Mariame Kaba, says, “Everything worthwhile is done with other people.” And that's something that I've realized is true in all the work I do and is something that RISE focuses on a lot. Collaboration is key to achieving Intel’s RISE goals and impact.

Collaboration is also embodied in the smart cities and transportation team, because we recognize that a more responsible, inclusive, and sustainable world can't be done alone. We must collaborate with a variety of people in all fields to create impact.

Q: How does your work connect to Intel’s RISE strategy? Are there any specific 2030 goals you are working on?
A: My work connects to RISE by enabling key stakeholders in the mobility and transportation industry to move towards safer and more sustainable transportation that is equipped with our technology’s capabilities. Whether that's making traffic flow smoother at an intersection or streamlining rail and port operations through technologies like the internet of things, artificial intelligence, and networking technologies such as 5G.

Q: Is there any 2030 goal or global challenge you want to contribute to (either by yourself or with Intel)?
A: The challenge that I want to contribute to most is building more resilient cities. According to the UN, currently only half of the world's urban population has convenient access to public transportation, which is a problem. I personally believe that transportation is a human right, so I'm grateful for the opportunity to work with this team and ecosystem partners on smart mobility solutions where we can be change agents. With Intel-based smart mobility solutions, we're working towards making transportation more accessible to everyone.

Additionally, over 90% of COVID-19 cases are found in urban areas today. With our crowd management solutions, we can also change this. There is no city, honestly, without citizens. It's crucial that we take a people-first approach when building solutions so we can understand what the citizen experience is and then design solutions around that because that's what really matters.

Getting to the reality of these ideal, resilient cities will require a complete reimagination of the way that things currently are, but I do believe it's possible. And I do believe we're getting closer. Having worked on this team this summer, I can see it is starting to happen.

Q: If Intel reaches our 2030 goals, what do you hope life looks like in 2030?
A: I'm hoping life will look happier. People's quality of life will improve, and they'll be happiest if they have the things that they need, right? Like from food to housing, to transportation, to green spaces. And I think technology has a role in enabling that. That's something that Intel recognizes—we believe we have a role to play in shaping the future for the better, which is why we're investing right now in IOT markets like transportation segments. To me, the ideal city would be safe. It would have access to jobs with livable wages and there would be a continuous flow of investment in them.


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