Move over Google, the Obama Administration is moving into helping to spur the growth of technology for “smart city” projects.
John Holdren, the senior science advisor to the president and director of the office of Science and Technology, believes the $160 million initiative will help “transform energy and resource use in our cities, and improve the quality of life for our cities’ inhabitants.”
These new tech projects will help to stop crime, ease traffic and make energy use more efficient. Here’s some highlights of the smart city initiatives:
The Department of Transportation is giving more than $40 million to fund next-generation transit systems. They’ll also be providing an additional $42 million to pilot programs using networked vehicles, including a $20 million program in midtown Manhattan to study traffic and safety. $17 million will be used to investigate traffic congestion in Tampa.
The Department of Energy will invest about $10 million to support energy-efficient and low-emission cities. The DOE is running a contest to the tune of $1 million prize to the city government that can produce the best plan to reduce energy consumption.
The Environmental Protection Agency is awarding $4.5 million in grants to support air-quality pilot studies using cheap and portable air pollution sensors.
The National Science Foundation is giving over $35 million in smart city grants to support projects such as self-driving cars, next generation internet systems and networked buildings.