Derek Major: City mayors make final pitches in Smart City Challenge

The Department of Transportation is in the final stages of its Smart City Challenge and will select a winner within the next two weeks from among seven finalists.

The mayors of those cities all made their final pitches to Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, outlining what they plan to do with more than $40 million in funding and technology from the DOT and challenge sponsors,  which include Amazon, AT&T, Autodesk, Mobileye and NXP.

The city of Austin would use the prize money and technology to build transportation centers for residents to get taxis or carpool rides, find bicycles and request automated car pickups. A smartphone app would let residents see all transportation options and pay for trips. In addition, the city would lower Interstate 35 to allow surface streets to pass over it and create a large-scale fleet of electric buses to bring residents from downtown to the airport.