USDOT secretary visits KC to talk $50M smart city grant

On Friday, Kansas City will get a visit from the U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, who previously named the city one of seven finalists for the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Smart City Challenge.

Mayor Sly James and other city leaders will meet with Foxx to discuss the city’s application and “innovative ideas about the future of transportation in Kansas City,” a release said.

Kansas City is already on the leading edge of smart cities and officially became the “most connected” city on earth, according to the city’s Chief Innovation Officer Bob Bennett. The city now boasts smart lights that can adjust depending on the time of day, free public Wi-Fi in Downtown powered by Sprint, 25 digital kiosks, and of course, the streetcar that opened to the public on May 6.

The winning city will get up to $40 million in federal money and up to $10 million more from Paul Allen’s Vulcan Inc. to fund technologies involving self-driving cars, connected vehicles and smart sensors. The winner will be selected based on “their ability to think big and provide a detailed roadmap on how they will integrate innovative technologies to prototype the future of transportation in the city,” according to a release. The decision will be made in June.

Read more: Kansas City Business Journal

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