Innovative leaders worldwide are investing in technologies to transform their cities into smart cities—environments in which data collection and analysis is utilized to manage assets and resources efficiently. Smart city technologies can improve safety, manage traffic and transportation systems, and save energy, as we discussed in a previous post. One important aspect of a successful smart city will be ensuring infrastructure is in place to support new technologies. Federal investment in infrastructure may accordingly benefit both smart cities and smart transportation, as explained in another post on connected and autonomous vehicles (“CAVs”).
Given the growing presence of CAVs in the U.S., and the legislative efforts surrounding them, CAVs are likely to play an important role in the future of smart cities. This post explores how cities are already using smart transportation technologies and how CAV technologies fit into this landscape. It also addresses the legal issues and practical challenges involved in developing smart transportation systems. As CAVs and smart cities continue to develop, each technology can leverage the other’s advances and encourage the other’s deployment.