A City Known for Innovativeness, Austin, Texas Strives to Become America’s First Smart City

July 4, 2016 12:44 am

Self-driving cars, connected vehicles and smart sensors are in the not-too-distant future of combating safety and congestion on our city’s streets and freeways. An estimated 70 percent of the world’s population is expected to live in cities by the year 2050, and this new technology will be essential for making urban areas run smoothly. Spectrum will be the driving force behind these innovations.

Austin-based company NXP Freescale, the world’s largest maker of semiconductors for connected vehicles, has developed vehicle-to-x connected car technology that allows drivers to “see” around corners and receive warnings of hazards that lie ahead on the road. Anyone who commutes and sits in traffic will love roads where traffic lights automatically turn green according to current traffic conditions. This will be a reality, and it just so happens that Austin is also one of the seven finalists in the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Smart City Challenge. The city that submits the winning plan will receive $40 million to invest in becoming the country’s first city to fully integrate innovative technologies into their transportation network.

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USDOT is expected to announce the winner of the Smart City Challenge this month. Other finalists include Denver, San Francisco, Portland, OR; Pittsburgh, Kansas City, MO; and Columbus, OH