AT&T becomes the latest partner in USDOT’s Smart City Challenge

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With the winning city to be announced later this month, the US Transportation Secretary, Anthony Foxx, has announced the latest strategic partner in the US Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Smart City Challenge, which will create a fully integrated, first-of-its-kind city that uses data, technology and creativity to shape how people and goods move in the future.

Multinational telecommunications giant, AT&T, will provide the winning city with access to up to US$1m in hardware, products and/or services to support the development and deployment of ‘smart’ solutions. As a provider of Internet of Things (IoT) systems, AT&T is prepared to equip the winner with connectivity services, including cellular, wi-fi, ultra-fast fiber and wireline internet, as well as an array of products and systems, such as IoT security consulting and big data analytics for traffic modeling and forecasting. The winning city could also choose to have the company host and manage a hackathon for developers, or host a DevLab that will allow city IT employees and other stakeholders to receive training on cutting-edge app development and coding practices that will aid in their smart city deployment. For the cities that do not win, AT&T will continue to work with them on strategies to help them move their visions forward.

The new partnership announcement comes on the same day that mayors from each of the seven finalist cities – Portland, Kansas City, Columbus, San Francisco, Denver, Austin and Pittsburgh – participated in the Smart City Challenge Final Pitch, which was streamed live by USDOT. The event provided each mayor with a final opportunity to share their vision for the future of transportation in their city. USDOT has been working with each of the seven finalists to connect them with private, public and non-profit partnerships that support their final proposals with technical assistance. In addition to AT&T, other partners that have joined the Challenge include: launch partner Paul G Allen’s Vulcan Inc, cloud partner Amazon Web Services, Mobileye, Autodesk, Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs, and NXP.

“The Department is incredibly excited about this new partnership with yet another innovative company, which further exemplifies the excitement that this Challenge is generating nationwide,” said Foxx. “The finalist cities have proposed incredibly bold visions for the future of their transportation systems. I’m confident that with the aid of the cutting-edge technologies and tools being offered by our partners, each city will be successful in bringing their inspiring plan to life.”

Mike Zeto, general manager and executive director of AT&T’s Smart Cities division, commented, “Joining the Smart City Challenge is another way that we’re working to promote and drive adoption of smart city solutions. We recognize that each of the contest finalists has a unique vision for how they want to transform their city’s transportation network, which is why we’ll be working with the winner to help them select the services and solutions they need us to provide, so they can build the smart city of their dreams.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since he joined the company in May 2014. Prior to this he worked on some of the UK's leading consumer magazine titles including Men's Health and Glamour, beginning his career in journalism in 1997 after graduating with a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).

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