In 2022, Pittsburgh will break ground on a smart city plan over six years in the making

When the challenge was announced in 2015, Pittsburgh officials were excited about the chance to use the prize money to shake the city’s reputation as a post-industrial steel town, Stan Caldwell, executive director of Carnegie Mellon University’s Traffic21 Institute, who worked on the city’s proposal, told us.

“There was a general opinion in Pittsburgh that the challenge was kind of almost tailor-made for us,” Alex Pazuchanics, a former policy advisor to the mayor of Pittsburgh from 2015–2017, told Emerging Tech Brew…

The idea for Smart Spines is rooted in an earlier—and still ongoing—project called Scalable Urban Traffic Control (Surtrac), an “intelligent traffic-control system” that began in 2012 and aims to speed up traffic flow and reduce vehicle idle time. The tech, which was developed at Carnegie Mellon University, has since been commercialized via a company called Rapid Flow Technologies.