The startup preparing Kansas City for self-driving cars

By August 22, 2017

Thanks to Integrated Roadways, Kansas City stands a chance of becoming one of the Midwest’s, and possibly even one of the country’s, top smart cities.

The young startup will soon be piloting a project to make the city driverless car ready. This means embedding sensors in the city’s roads accompanied by phone lines and fiber optic cable.

The sensors will be designed to collect information regarding road use, speeds, and vehicle weight. This will hopefully give the city information that can be used to better deploy maintenance and shape transportation policy.

Additionally, this novel technology could have fantastic future applications, such as helping with the navigation, communication, and self power of self driving cars. Moreover, the new roads will include channels for telecom and connectivity companies to run 5G networks or high speed internet.

This is a crucial aspect of the overall plan for Kansas City. If many car companies and communication companies find the street’s high-tech amenities very appealing, they will be more willing to pay for them, freeing up the city’s transportation budget for better road maintenance.

From a government standpoint, simply obtaining fast, accurate, granular data on traffic conditions is highly valuable. “Right now we estimate it, we can send people out to track it, and we can send people out if there’s a problem … but (it would be different) to now be able to give you a precise number and a trend analysis to figure out how we can get traffic off that road, ways to incentivize mass transit, ways to engage the public to mitigate that mass transit issue”, said Kansas City’s chief innovation officer, Bob Bennett.

Kansas City is racing forward as a leader in modern technology for the Midwest. It has already implemented its public data dashboard that helps drivers find parking spots. With the introduction of the new Integrated Roadways’ business plan, Kansas City should be able to secure a position as a one of the US’ most forward thinking cities.