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Austin closes in on federal mobility funds

Monday, March 14, 2016 by Caleb Pritchard

Austin has been named one of seven finalists in the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Smart City Challenge. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx made that announcement at a South by Southwest event in downtown Austin on Saturday. The news puts Austin in the running to win $40 million from the federal government “to help it define what it means to be a ‘Smart City’ and become the country’s first city to fully integrate innovative technologies – self-driving cars, connected vehicles, and smart sensors – into their transportation network,” according to a U.S. DOT press release. Mayor Steve Adler, who was present during Foxx’s announcement, touted Austin’s ability to compete for the prize. “Austin possesses the spirit of innovation required to redefine mobility for the 21st century,” the mayor said in a statement. “No other city is better positioned than Austin to realize the potential of the Smart City initiative. Moreover, no U.S. city is in more need of innovation in transportation to address our most pressing challenges of mobility and affordability.” The six other finalists include: Columbus, Ohio; Denver; Kansas City, Missouri; Pittsburgh; Portland, Oregon; and San Francisco.

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