Notes from the field

Our DDL development and project management teams are working hard in coordination with NIST and the project champions in each of the four jurisdictions to get the DDL pilot stages underway. Check back often for updates on current action items and to read about specific happenings as we move through the DDL pilot development and implementation process.

DDLs Soar at Cheyenne Regional Airport

By Lauren Novak, November 3, 2017

Day two of Wyoming's DDL pilot activity brought us to Cheyenne Regional Airport, a civil-military airport about a mile north of downtown Cheyenne, where pilot participants were invited to test out their DDLs while simulating the identity verification process for air travel.

12.JPGPilot participants lined up – luggage in tow – and walked through several airport check-in scenarios where they presented their DDL for verification instead of a physical credential.

13.JPGThis phase of DDL pilot activity showed how easy and secure the digital license is to use on an already-accessible mobile device – no fumbling for a loose document amid your travel gear, or accidentally arriving at the airport without your ID. In this case, airport agents were able to validate the identity of pilot participants with the click of a button, and advance the line smoothly and efficiently.

14.JPGGiven today's trend in mobile boarding passes for travel, it was easy for participants to imagine a future in which mobile boarding passes and digital driver's licenses will be integrated on your smartphone, offering a more streamlined process for traveler verification. We also heard one airport representative's view of the potential benefits that a DDL solution could offer pilots and airline staff, who are themselves required to routinely present a valid credential for verification.


After two action-packed days of pilot activity in Wyoming, our team returned home filled with the delicious local treat that is Mort's bagels and the sense that the next steps for phase two of the DDL pilot in Wyoming are cleared for takeoff.

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Demoing DDLs with Wyoming Highway Patrol

By Lauren Novak, November 2, 2017

Day one of Wyoming's DDL pilot started with a bang – well, a gust of wind, or two – at WYDOT headquarters in Cheyenne, the state's capital city.

1.JPGThanks to the hospitality of the WYDOT team, our DDL troupe set up shop in their headquarters and met with enthusiastic members of the public who were especially keen to check out the DDLs for the first time. They learned about mobile driver's license technology on a variety of demo smartphones and saw a number of digital ID verifications performed at their very own DMV!

2.JPGPilot participants and DDL enthusiasts were also on-hand to present their newly-installed and activated Wyoming DDL pilot credentials for use at the week's events. They got to test out the technology first-hand and offered comprehensive feedback on their initial experiences with their mobile license.

3.JPGThe second half of a lively pilot day one was spent outside the WYDOT facility, testing DDL technology in the field with Wyoming Highway Patrol. Dedicated law enforcement officials tested the limits of the digital solution by conducting a series of simulated traffic stops using – in addition to an array of standard passenger vehicles – a semi-truck and a recreational vehicle in tow.

4.JPGThe consensus was that experimenting with DDLs in the actual conditions – varying and possibly inclement weather over large distances on the side of a roadway – that highway patrol officers face every day was valuable. It illuminated key areas where DDL technology can be enhanced to be most beneficial in real-world application.


After several hours testing DDLs in the field, our team was as warmed by the response that we received from our WYDOT partners as we were by the coffee and doughnuts that rounded out day one in the Cowboy State.


AAMVA Region III Conference: Getting the DDL deep dish in Chicago!

By Faith Abbott, October 25, 2017

This week brought us to the Chicago suburb – and famed location of McDonald’s World Headquarters and Hamburger University – of Oak Brook, Illinois for the AAMVA Region III Information Exchange. The conference was an action-packed 3 days of networking, educational sessions, information sharing, and of course, a little bit of fun in between.


Gemalto’s own Tiffany Conway was front and center during one of the most anticipated panel sessions, providing an update on the DDL pilot and a vision for the direction the technology will take in the coming years. Panelists were asked to discuss the benefits and potential challenges of a DDL, and to provide insights to help jurisdictions begin mapping out their mobile driver’s license roadmap.

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Tiffany offered an inside look at the pilot activity that has been completed thus far in CO, MD and Washington DC. She talked through lessons learned and explored some key statistics gathered during this activity. The audience was particularly interested in these findings, as it empowers many of them to have conversations with their internal stakeholders and key decision makers about why a DDL pilot could bring strong benefit to their state.

The Q&A session that followed brought a robust discussion ranging from law enforcement considerations to the role of biometrics in the authentication process. The Region III event proved once again that the AAMVA community is filled with individuals that are engaged, forward-thinking, and know how to have a good time – even in the windiest of cities!

Wyoming DDL Kickoff Highlights

By Lauren Novak, September 20, 2017

This week the DDL team headed to Cheyenne, Wyoming to officially kick off phase one of the DDL pilot at the Wyoming Department of Transportation. We were met with enthusiastic ideas and keen responses from WYDOT senior supervisors and program managers, law enforcement agents, and IT personnel.


After outlining the scope of the DDL pilot for our new partner state, sharing the results from phase one activity i n Color ado, DC, and Maryland, and demonstrating DDL verifications for law enforcement, proof of age, and TSA checkpoints, we were thrilled to hear the enthusiasm and shared vision of a future where a DDL could have a real place in the lives of Wyoming residents.


Wyoming Highway Patrol officers in attendance provided specific feedback about how impactful implementing DDL technology would be in their daily practice interacting with the public, and why they feel the benefits of a DDL could make their jobs easier and more efficient– especially when it comes to verifying out of state credentials. 

A number of compelling points were shared about how digital driver’s licensing could impact law enforcement procedure, particularly when they are away from their squad cars – conducting house calls, for example – in a situation where they may have to remotely verify the identities of several people at once.


As the discussion progressed, thoughts flowed regarding possible engagement events throughout the state and DDL demonstration sites that would encourage phase one pilot participation in the region – and th at was all before lunch! Excitingly, ideas on future DDL use cases, including innovations in commercial driver’s licensing and possibilities for standardizing the technology across state lines, followed in turn.


After a comprehensive, lively discussion about the logistics of piloting Gemalto’s DDL solution , and the clear-cut real-world benefits it offers the people of Wyoming, our team headed home feeling that the partnership with WYDOT will no doubt position the “Forever West” state as a true pioneer and leader in the DDL space.

Talking DDL at AIC in San Francisco

By Tiffany Conway, August 24, 2017

This week brings to close another great AAMVA International Conference, filled with industry networking, customer engagement, learning opportunities, and of course, lots of talk surrounding digital driver’s licenses. 
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Gemalto’s pilot was front and center during many of those conversations, with many jurisdictions interested in hearing more about the pioneering efforts of our pilot partner states. 

In order to showcase the activity, talk in detail about the scope of the pilot, brainstorm about future implementation ideas, and of course, demo our DDL solution itself; we conducted several mini-workshop sessions during the first two days of the conference. 

These sessions were by-invitation-only and allowed a select group of jurisdictions to get an inside look at some key research findings from the pilot and ask in-depth questions about critical considerations specific to their jurisdiction. 

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In addition to these meetings, Gemalto’s Suraj Sudhakaran participated in a conference panel presentation, which focused on a broad view of the mobile driver’s license ecosystem and technology evolution. 

He and the other panel speakers discussed interoperability considerations, standards development, technical specifications, and different implementation models. This panel was highly insightful and depicted clearly the strong subject matter interest with what ended up being a standing-room-only turnout. 

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Science and nature enthusiasts need not worry – even with all the buzz about DDL, everyone still found time to turn to the beautiful California skies for a bayside viewing of the solar eclipse; offering just one more reason why this AIC event was indeed a memorable one!

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Sliding into home at Oriole Park

By Tiffany Conway, July 21, 2017

To round out the week’s activity in Maryland, the DDL team was hosted by the Baltimore Orioles at their beautiful ballpark at Camden Yards. 

Partnering with the Maryland Department of Transportation for their annual employee game night, we set up a booth-style demonstration area to give the nearly 27,000 ballgame attendees a sneak peek at the DDL technology we’ve been testing during this pilot. 

We allowed fans – Orioles and Astros alike – who were passing by to use sample credentials on demo phones to simulate the age verification process using a digital driver’s license. We then gathered feedback through our onsite response surveys and talked through the potential future use-cases with many interested parties. 


We heard all kinds of perspectives, from both Maryland residents and out-of-towners, and overall felt a strong sense of excitement for the technology with many people asking when they could get their own DDL. 

Though the Orioles did not manage to pull out a win over the top-ranked Houston Astros, the DDL team finished the week batting 1.000 with a fantastic evening at Oriole Park!

Game on with casino verification in Maryland

By Tiffany Conway, July 20, 2017

The next stop for the DDL pilot team was at Maryland Live! Casino, a 24/7 casino and entertainment complex with thousands of games and classic decor. 

There, Maryland and DC pilot participants explored the benefits of DDL technology firsthand by verifying their proof-of-age electronically instead of using traditional physical licenses to enter the venue. 


DDL pilot participants were equipped with an individual digital credential on their mobile device, which offered users the privacy of displaying the personal information that is relevant for age verification, instead of all the information that is normally visible when you hand over a plastic driver’s license or ID. 

In an age-restricted establishment like Maryland Live! Casino, venue employees and DDL pilot users alike appreciated the innovative, secure, and efficient way to verify customer’s proof-of-age so they can quickly and easily enter the facility and start having some fun!


Testing DDL with Law Enforcement in Maryland

By Tiffany Conway, July 19-20, 2017

The next two days of Maryland’s DDL pilot enlisted the help of the Maryland Transportation Authority Police and a group of willing test drivers for a series of simulated roadside traffic stops. 

The MDTA Police, which is responsible for law enforcement at the Authority's highways, tunnels and bridges, BWI Airport, and at the Port of Baltimore, was able to engage DDL technology in a number of common cases where driver identification is required. 


Instead of drivers turning over a physical license to the police officer when they were "pulled over", pilot participants were equipped with individual digital driver’s licenses on their mobile devices, and officers were able to verify the drivers’ records electronically. 

It was a win-win in terms of security and efficiency because drivers did not have to part with their secured documents – or in the case of a DDL, with their mobile phones – and officers had a quick and reliable platform to verify license credentials. 


Nobody likes getting pulled over, but DDL pilot users and the MDTA officers were all smiles during the test, enjoying the efficiency of the verification process.


Checking out DDL at Bay Ridge Wine & Spirits in Maryland

By Tiffany Conway, July 18, 2017

The DDL team began an action-packed four days of live pilot activity with Maryland and DC participants, at Bay Ridge Wine & Spirits, a quaint family-owned and run liquor store in Annapolis, MD. 

After decades specializing in fine wine, beer, and spirits, Bay Ridge has evolved into a customer-focused, community-minded small businesses leader in the region. Their team was focused on learning all they could about DDL technology, as we talked through their daily challenges with verifying IDs for proof of age and what impact a DDL could have on this process. 

Pilot participants stopped by to test the technology from the user side with their own DDLs on their smartphones. The friendly “Brew Crew” associates conducted multiple ID checks and were surprised by how fast and easy verifying a customer’s age with a DDL proved to be. 

The favorable response from a trusted local establishment spoke volumes about the eagerness to adopt cutting-edge technologies like DDL in the area, and applying a digital driver’s license solution in a real-world setting showed just how convenient and secure a transaction using the DDL can be!


Cherry Creek: Where technology and arts combine

By Tiffany Conway, July 2, 2017

Today the Cherry Creek Arts Festival brought our first truly public-facing day of the DDL pilot – and the response was incredible! Previously most of the people involved with the pilot activity had either already had exposure to the project or had received some level of education from the DMV; but today we gathered information and observed feedback from real Coloradans who were experiencing the DDL technology for the very first time. 

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As a partner to the Colorado Lottery Division, which sells lottery tickets from their Dream Machine truck at the festival, we set up a booth-style proof-of-age verification demo. Throughout the day we spoke with festival goers of all ages, backgrounds, demographics and technology profiles to gauge the public perception of a DDL. Almost everyone was, at the very least, interested in learning about and seeing the new technology; and the consensus seemed to be that moving the driver’s license to a mobile format made sense given the ever-growing dependence on smartphones. 

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Though we were not able to actually enroll members of the public (the pilot is still limited to a closed audien ce), we had countless people ready to hand over their plastic license while saying “I’m ready – set me up!” The Cherry Creek Arts Festival was a great way to end our week in CO and brought a renewed energy to the DDL pilot project team to get a sense of the excitement in the Denver community at large.

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Colorado pilot day 3 brings a trip to the DMV

By Tiffany Conway, July 1, 2017

After a successful week of verification activity, it was time to bring the DDL back to the Colorado DMV. We set up an enr ollment station in one of their new Denver area facilities and processed DDL enrollment in a procedure almost identical to a real-life scenario. DMV volunteers – both from that particular DMV location, as well as some surrounding locations – came to get their picture taken and enroll their phones to get their very own DDL. 

We also had several key fraud investigations personnel onsite, who gave us feedback and perspective on some of the issues they encounter with fraudulent credentials and purported identity thieves that come into the DMV. 

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After successfully enrolling, we asked our new pilot participants to walk through a simulated law enforcement scenario, with a top special investigator from the state’s gaming control division. As a fully authorized law enforcement officer, this investigator walked us through several different types of interactions he would have in his day-to-day job of verifying identity and age of those wishing to partake in Colorado’s gambling and gaming entertainment. 

As someone who greatly depends on mobility, reliability and ease-of-use, the special investigator brought a lot of unique perspective and provided a great test-case for law enforcement interaction. He was very excited about the prospect of being able to verify in-state and, eventually out-of-state credentials in a more reliable and fool-proof manner. 

Picking up momentum with Colorado’s DDL pilot

By Tiffany Conway, June 30, 2017

Today brought another great day of DDL activity in Colorado, beginning with proof-of-age verification at a local convenience store in the downtown Denver area. Our verification equipment was set up at Capitol Convenience, a trendy urban corner-store situated near the state’s capitol building with an eclectic and young customer-base. 

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We processed multiple users through the proof-of-age scenario and took some time to speak in-depth with the store owner and check-out manager. 

Capitol Convenience 1.JPG

This location made for a particularly interesting use-case because the store owner was initially skeptical of the concept of a digital driver’s license and was wary of the implications it could bring. However, upon completion of the demo day, he was relieved to find the solution easier, faster, and more secure than he had anticipated – and we were happy to have one more supporter of our DDL technology in the area!

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Later that afternoon, we made our way to the Colorado Lottery’s Denver Claim Center to work with them on adding DDL age verification onsite – both for those wishing to purchase lottery tickets, and for individuals coming to claim cash prizes. 

Having heard about the project in advance – as part of the Colorado Department of Revenue – much of the staff at the claim center was quite excited to see and test the new technology. Multiple employees enrolled in the pilot and had their DDLs ready to go on their phones. 

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After running the tests, we surveyed the group and conducted some one-on-one interviews to get a better feel for their opinion on the technology. The Denver Claim center was a great end to a successful day of DDL testing, which left all of us with a winning spirit… Getting a chance to check-out the exclusive “Winner’s Room” at the claim center didn’t hurt either!

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Colorado DDL goes live

By Tiffany Conway, June 28, 2017

This week is a momentous week, not just in the state of Colorado, but in the roadmap of Digital Driver’s License technology across the country. Having successfully enrolled and activated all of our Colorado pilot participants over the last couple weeks, we had our first live activity today to test the various use cases in the state. 

Our first visit was to a King Sooper’s grocery store in Denver where we tested the proof-of-age feature as it would be used to purchase lottery tickets or other age-restricted goods. We trained the friendly King Sooper’s staff on how the verification process works and then shortly after, ran our first live DDL verification with a pilot participant. 


The day’s excitement continued with a visit to two local liquor stores – Amendment XXI and AppleJack Wine & Spirits. At both of these locations we conducted multiple tests with live users to demonstrate the process flow and user experience for both the merchant and licenseholders. We had some great live learning experience as we tested a wide variety of smartphone devices belonging to individual users and operated in multiple variable environments, which helps us continue to refine the solution and process. Thanks for getting the pilot off to a great start, Colorado!

AAMVA Region IV Conference panel presentation

By Tiffany Conway, M ay 24, 2017

We were thrilled to have the opportunity to speak about digital driver’s licenses at the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) conference for their Region IV members this week in Seattle. As part of a panel presentation focused on emerging technology trends that are impacting the driver and motor vehicle sector, Gemalto's Steve Purdy spoke alongside one of our Region IV partners, Bonnie Fogdall from Idaho Transportation Department. 

They shared market analysis of the mobile identity trends and discussed decision-making criteria for jurisdictions who may be considering conducting a DDL pilot or feasibility study. Bonnie provided some first-hand expertise about what made Idaho decide to tackle this endeavor, and some of the lessons they have learned thus far in working on the pilot. Lastly, they gave the audience a glance at a recommended implementation flow to provide guidance to jurisdictions learning to understand the steps in the process. 

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NIST technical review and privacy and risk assessment methodology

By Tiffany Conway, M ay 20, 2017

As part of the requirements of the DDL grant, another critical component of our project progress is the technical review and Privacy and Risk Assessment Methodology (PRAM). This session brings the NIST project sponsors together, partially onsite and partially via the wonder of video-conference, to discuss certain elements of the solution that deal with user privacy and the proper handling of personally identifiable information (PII). This assessment took place during a full-day session where we demonstrated the end-to-end DDL enrollment process and explained the technical details behind the in-field use-cases. This allows NIST to provide feedback and guidance to ensure proper protocol is being adhered to, and that all user privacy and personal information is protected throughout the phases of the DDL pilot. 

Some of the key elements and objectives of the PRAM framework include:
  • A common vocabulary concerning privacy risks and the implementation of privacy principles.
  • A means for bridging the gap between high-level principles and practical implementation of privacy protections.
  • Three privacy engineering objectives – predictability, manageability and disassociability – that enable effective privacy risk management systems.
  • A methodology that enables agencies to identify and quantify privacy risks.
  • A methodology that yields repeatable and measurable results and allows agencies to prioritize and allocate resources to achieve their missions while also minimizing any adverse impacts on individuals and themselves.

In addition to laying the groundwork for the PRAM, during this session NIST performed a detailed review of the technical architecture and specifications our DDL solution employs. They reviewed the data communication protocol, information transfer mechanisms, data encryption, and back-end process flow. This review, and subsequent green-lighting from NIST, represents a key achievement in the solution development and overall project progress.

Individual jurisdictional DDL FAT sessions

By Tiffany Conway, M ay 16, 2017

This week brought all of the jurisdiction s once again to the beautiful city of Austin for a critical step in the pilot deployment process. Specific days during the week were dedicated to each of the jurisdictions on an individual basis to allow for deeper discussion about their unique progress and application of the pilot. 

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Commonly referred to as FAT, or factory acceptance test, this milestone serves a few key object ives. First, it allows the jurisdiction to walk through the entire DDL enrollment, issuance, lifecycle management and use case demonstration from end-to-end using real equipment and applications modeled just like what the DMV would implement. This allows for a comprehensive view and understanding0 of each element, and provides them an opportunity to provide feedback in the context of the entire process. The FAT session also allows Gemalto to share project status updates and to revise or solidify the timeline with the DMV’s direct participation. Lastly, the FAT serves to provide clear, agreed upon next steps and structured deliverables for each of the responsible parties to ensure the progress remains on-track. 


The jurisdictional FAT session is a cornerstone in the Gemalto project implementation process and the successful completion represents a significant milestone in the pilot. We are always happy to spend time with our partner jurisdictions, but we are even happier when that time can be so productive and lead to strong progress on our project! 

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Maryland liquor board & law enforcement workshop

By Tiffany Conway, April 18, 2017

More developments are being made in Maryland, where a workshop was held at the Motor Vehicle Administration Headquarters in Glen Burnie. Representatives from the liquor board and law enforcement personnel came together to further discuss planning of the DDL activity, including logistics and settings for testing.  

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At the workshop, we had a lot of discussion surrounding the optimal location and details of the law enforcement testing, and discussed how best to gain insight into collecting feedback. Prospective vendors for the July staging of liquor and tobacco sales were deliberated, highlighting the DDL’s uses outside basic traffic control. In the meeting, it was determined who the ideal participants would be for these activities, and the enrollment process will open soon.

Second level workshop with Colorado

By Tiffany Conway, April 6, 2017

Exciting activity is abuzz in Colorado this week! The workshop, hosted at the DOR office in Denver, brought together for the second time representatives from the liquor board, gaming authority, lottery commission, and the DMV. These participants continued to hone in on the details and logistics of each of their respective areas. 
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Multiple merchants and partners were confirmed for both lottery sales and liquor/tobacco sales, as well as two area casinos that have agreed to test the technology for proof of age verification in their facilities. 
The timing of the DDL activity was further defined, as the Cherry Creek Arts Festival held in early July was discussed as a possible targeted event where DDL usage could be tested for the sales of lottery tickets. To optimize staged activity timing and build on the DDL momentum, we will continue to target this timeframe with efforts for other pilot testing opportunities. 
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Additionally, at the workshop the DMV explored the enrollment process components and began the recruitment of their pilot participants shortly after the conclusion of the workshop.


Workshop with Idaho Transportation Department

by Tiffany Conway, March 23, 2017

This week we met with the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) to begin scoping out the details of their pilot elements. We discussed the process of selecting participants, how we can enroll them and enable each of them to get a DDL, and how we will collect feedback from them throughout the course of the pilot. Representatives from ITD, the Idaho Liquor Control Board, and the Idaho State Police were present. 
The law enforcement discussions centered around the details of staging the law enforcement DDL verifications with the Port Authority to bring representatives from multiple law enforcement agencies in the state to test the technology and the various use cases. The Idaho liquor control board brought forth the idea of also using DDL verification for the sales of lottery tickets, which are sold at the same locations as alcohol. Considerations were also given to the implications of the particular point-of-sale terminals used by these various merchants. 
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ITD and these key ecosystem players will continue their effort by brainstorming ideas and opportunities to test the use cases of DDL with their pilot participants.

Colorado First Workshop

By Tiffany Conway, February 6,  2017

Colorado continued to push their project forward at their workshop, exploring the details of the current phase one pilot plans, as well as future use cases of the DDL. 
This workshop brought together the pilot sponsors, as well as the liquor, gaming, and lottery control boards. These stakeholders worked together to establish the foundation for how the DDL pilot will run in each of their respective areas. 

Colorado DDL Pilot

Maryland & District of Columbia Workshop Highlights

By Tiffany Conway, January 25, 2017

Things are really starting to take shape with the progress made at the joint Maryland and DC workshop, held at the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration headquarters. 
Participants from both jurisdictions and NIST joined law enforcement personnel and TSA to start discussing the ins and outs of how the pilot implementation of test use cases will be orchestrated. 

Additionally, r epresentatives from the Maryland state liquor board were present to discuss implications for the purchase of age-restricted goods. Marketing and communications strategies were also more clearly defined, relative to specific local considerations.


Join t Jurisdiction Kickoff Highlights

By Tiffany Conway, December 5, 2016

The initial pilot kick off meeting brought our four jurisdiction partners together for the first time in the beautiful city of Austin, TX. The main purpose of the kickoff was to provide a solid understanding of the DDL solution, ecosystem, use cases and pilot details. Our goal was to empower the jurisdiction sponsors to become confident ambassadors with a strong vision for the pilot.

DDL Pilot Kickoff Participants
With many topics to cover in just a short amount of time, we packed as much into the day as possible. Starting with an in-depth look at the DDL demo, we walked through each aspect of the verification scenarios and discussed in detail the various considerations for each jurisdiction. Next we jumped into a bit of the technical detail of how the DDL solution itself works. 

Later t hat day, we switched gears to talk about marketing and communication surrounding the pilot. We explored various strategies and ideas to support the jurisdictions in maximizing the impact of the pilot. We thought of ways to see measurable results and a strong benefit from the pilot at the local level. 

To further drive this strategy definition, we conducted a “DDL Think Tank” to brainstorm together and establish a framework for next steps for each jurisdiction. 
DDL Pilot Kickoff Participants
The kickoff concluded with a mock “Quick Fire Q&A Session” that put each of our participants in the hot seat to answer some of the frequently asked questions surrounding the DDL. Everyone did a great job flexing their DDL Champion muscles and showing us everything they had learned throughout the day!