ICYMI: #DOTSmartCity Austin update

SmartCityChallengeFinalistsMap_0Mayor Adler is barnstorming across the country in support of Austin’s bid for the Department of Transportation’s $50-million Smarty City Challenge. This week, he flew to the World Economic Forum’s urban mobility conference in San Diego, and next week he and a delegation from the City of Austin’s Transportation Department will be in Washington, DC for a series of high-level meetings related to the Smart City Challenge.

In DC, Mayor Adler has meetings scheduled with the congressional delegation, Sen. John Cornyn, the White House, representatives of Daimler North America Corp., General Motors, Ford, Continental Automotive Systems, Leidos, NXP, Amazon Web Services, the Intelligent Car Coalition, and AAA.

Press roundup:

On Tuesday, Mayor Adler discussed Austin’s Smart City bid with newmayor energy business leaders at the energy summit. Michael Theis of the Austin Business Journal (who also took the photograph to the right) was there to record the Mayor making a bold promise: Win or lose, we’re going to do this.

Whether Austin wins the Smart City grant competition or not, Adler also said city leaders were committed to incorporating “intelligent transportation systems” — the term the federal Department of Transportation uses to describe the next-gen technologies that are the focus of the Smart City Challenge — into the city’s transportation infrastructure. …

“The challenge has been great. It served to catalyze the business community,” Adler told me after his speech. “Regardless, it is still something that we need to do in this city. We have to be smarter.”

Here’s KXAN’s story about the Mayor’s remarks. (Fun fact: That’s Theis in the baseball cap.)

Driverless shuttles coming to airport?

KEYE gave some airtime to one of the pilot programs in Austin’s Smart City application: driverless shuttle buses at the airport.