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Skip Descant

Skip Descant writes about smart cities, the Internet of Things, transportation and other areas for Government Technology magazine.

A plan to modernize IT and better enable a work-from-anywhere posture in Santa Monica served the city well when the COVID-19 pandemic reshuffled city services and how they are delivered.
Three augmented reality projects have been awarded $20,000 each by US Ignite to develop projects that use AR technology to address city concerns like transportation, education or health care.
Ticketing and trip-planning across some half-dozen transit providers in San Joaquin County have been brought under one app, allowing for an easy jump for riders moving from one system to another.
A study conducted by the Mineta Transportation Institute at San Jose State University found that cybersecurity protocols and general concern about cyberthreats were inadequate across many agencies.
“This venture has the potential to be a key driver of jobs in L.A. and to knit together the fabric of our transportation systems as a low-noise, all electric, accessible and affordable option for getting around,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said.
“We wanted to identify how to deploy such a service in San Jose in different locales. Is it suitable for all of our city streets?” said Andrea Arjona, transportation specialist with the San Jose Department of Transportation.
Fleet management officials in the capital and elsewhere are using technology to better track their vehicles and gain detailed insights into vehicle operations for both gas- and electric-powered autos.
The information harvested from e-scooters and newer forms of mobility has helped San Diego shape the way these types of vehicles will become a part of the city.
The legislation is designed to expand electric vehicle charging infrastructure in underserved communities as well as create a new program within the California Energy Commission to fund school upgrades through electric ratepayer-funded energy efficiency efforts.
Trip data, which includes real-time locations and routes, could — without a significant amount of effort — be fleshed out to reveal the individual identities of riders, the lawsuit states.
The city’s public-facing website is dedicated to COVID-19 resources for residents and businesses. Features include the mapping of available essential services and other timely data.
Three California cities have explored locating chargers for electric vehicles in the public right of way. The changes promise to help normalize zero-emissions vehicles across the state.
Private-sector researchers and officials with the California Air Resources Board (CARB) say that one or two weeks is not enough time to get a thorough understanding of the effects of greatly reducing traffic.
A new service geared toward closing first- and last-mile gaps for commuters, announced in Sacramento and Davis, will also collect vehicle data for autonomous advancements.
The Veloz electric vehicle forum, titled "Electric Transportation 2030: Policy, Power and Plugs"' brought together attendees from private, public and nonprofit sectors.
The state’s most populous city will station an electric-powered fire truck at its Hollywood station. It’s one of several moves city officials are making to cut carbon emissions.
The San Jose Digital Inclusion Fund is expected to generate $24 million over 10 years by collecting lease revenue from telecommunications firms. The first round of grants is about to hook thousands up to the Internet.
After four years in the public sector, San Jose’s chief innovation officer will join a Bay Area startup.
Metrolink, a commuter rail service in the Los Angeles metro area, has already been credited with eliminating more than 300 million vehicle miles from the region's notoriously clogged highways last year.
Four L.A.-area pilots will each receive $100,000 toward boosting zero-emission transportation. The initiatives aim to offer new modes of travel to underserved communities.
StreetLight Data, known for its use of travel metrics gleaned from mobile and other devices, has partnered with Siemens, a multinational technology company, to form a deep understanding of where EV infrastructure should be deployed.
A report by the International Council on Clean Transportation looked at the growth of the electric vehicle market across the U.S. It found that adoption is strongest in urban centers and along the East and West coasts.
Local Motors, which makes the Olli AV shuttle, will partner with both GoMentum, an enormous vehicle test site in the Bay Area, and AAA Northern California to further fine-tune connected-vehicle technology around small, electric shuttles, making the vehicles perhaps the most promising form of autonomous transportation in the near term.
As the experts see it, midsize cities are the ideal places to test and develop new ways of getting around. During a symposium in Sacramento last week, thought leaders discussed the issue and where strides could be made.
Collaboration between a Southern California land conservation nonprofit and a traffic analytics firm is paying off as officials get a better idea how many visitors are flocking to parks.
Seven Bay Area toll bridges will move away from accepting cash payments over the next several years.
As electric vehicle charging stations proliferate, so could the potential for cybercrime. A new report suggests a possible solution, and a state board will weigh another option later this month.
Digital replacements, capable of pinpointing caller locations and handling more data faster, are in the pipeline. The state is assisting various counties in their Next-Gen 911 projects in the form of funding and project management.
The California Department of Motor Vehicles heard comments on Thursday from industry, business and transportation planning officials and others, about new regulations that would set up testing of autonomous light-duty delivery vehicles.
The city is in the midst of one of the biggest IoT deployments in North America, involving cameras, microphones and sensors, that will help understand how people move through San Diego's streets.