Industry, Government Push Internet of Things to Improve Transportation in Cities

Public-private partnerships that introduce Internet of Things technology such as autonomous vehicles can improve transportation in U.S. cities, according to witnesses at a Senate hearing Tuesday.

“Cars will become known as data centers on wheels,” Doug Davis, senior vice president and general manager at Intel Corp. said at a hearing of the Senate Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Transportation.

Davis, one of five experts discussing the use of self-driving vehicles to help make cities more efficient, said his company is making investments in autonomous vehicles, which he said can help cities solve infrastructure problems such as traffic and harmful emissions.

Seleta Reynolds, general manager at the Los Angeles Department of Transportation, said some of the biggest challenges to incorporating the Internet of Things in cities is getting tech talent on municipal government payrolls.

“We don’t have the skill sets inside government,” Reynolds said.

Sen. Cory Booker, ranking member of the subcommittee and former mayor of Newark, N.J., said procurement is one of the biggest problems cities have. He emphasized the need for the the federal government to work better with private companies on tech issues.

“I get very annoyed when I watch other countries who are beginning to out-innovate us,” Booker said.

Briefings

Tech Brief: NIAC Warns of U.S. Vulnerability to Cyberattacks

The National Infrastructure Advisory Council warned that the United States is not ready to cope with catastrophic cyberattacks aimed at the U.S. power grid and other critical infrastructure, with one member warning that “we’re in a pre-9/11 moment.” The presidential advisory group, which includes former government officials and business executives, voted up a report recommending that the country establish separate communications networks for critical systems and work to rapidly declassify cybersecurity threats for infrastructure operators.

Tech Brief: NTSB Plans Vote on Cause of Tesla Autopilot Accident

The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board plans to vote at a hearing next month on the probable cause of a May 2016 car crash that killed a man who was using the semi-autonomous driving system in his Tesla Model S sedan. The incident raised questions about the safety of semi-autonomous vehicle systems that allow car operators to drive for long stretches with little human-vehicle intervention.

Tech Brief: Lobbying Tech Groups Target NAFTA Renegotiations

According to data from the Center for Responsive Politics, the number of tech companies and trade associations registered to lobby U.S., Canadian and Mexican government officials has more than doubled in the last few months. Companies like Cisco Systems Inc. and Microsoft Corp. are looking to zero out tariffs for tech goods and remove restrictions on cloud storage as officials prepare to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Tech Brief: Intel CEO Leaves Trump’s Manufacturing Council

Brian Krzanich, Intel Corp.’s chief executive, joined the chief executives of Merck and Under Armour in announcing that he would leave Trump’s council on American manufacturing following the president’s response to violence during a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va. Krzanich said he resigned “to call attention to the serious harm our divided political climate is causing to critical issues.” 

Tech Brief: Week in Review & What’s Ahead

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit will not block the Federal Communications Commission’s April decision to eliminate price caps for much of the business broadband market. The FCC’s business data services ruling deems certain local markets as competitive, even when there is only one broadband service provider.

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