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Skip-Descant

Skip Descant

Staff Writer

Skip Descant writes about smart cities, the Internet of Things, transportation and other areas. He spent more than 12 years reporting for daily newspapers in Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana and California. He lives in downtown Sacramento.

Cities like New York and Columbus, Ohio, have made significant headway in converting their fleets to electric vehicles, helping to push along the industry toward electrifying more than just cars and trucks.
Six technology providers were selected as part of the challenge for solutions in areas like transportation and economic development to assist cities in the Denver region with their recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
During a recent press briefing hosted by the American Public Transportation Association, transit leaders highlighted the industry’s ability to launch on-demand transit programs, which flourished during the pandemic.
La Quinta, Calif., in the lush Coachella Valley, has turned to an AI-powered solution that mines real estate transactions and other data to zero in on the homes that are operating as unpermitted vacation rentals.
A partnership between Electrify America and Valley Clean Air Now in California has led to thousands of rural households trading in their gas-powered cars for electric autos. Will other parts of rural America follow suit?
The Lower Mississippi River SmartPort and Resilience Center project will collect crowdsourced sediment and shoaling data from eight ports along the Mississippi River to gain insights into obstacles affecting river traffic.
Planned development communities like New Haven in Ontario, Calif., are highlighting urban technology applications and features as signature amenities as consumer expectations reach well beyond standard pools and parks.
Research by Michigan State University and Ford Mobility examined connected vehicle data to gain insights into driving styles and incidents, potentially allowing for safety problems to be addressed before a crash occurs.
States like Arizona and Texas have positioned themselves as hubs for autonomous vehicle testing and deployments, in part, by creating regulatory landscapes that are easy for new companies to navigate.
The personal self-driving car has been derided as little more than whimsy by many transportation watchers, who see fleet vehicles and public transit as the real beneficiaries of autonomous vehicle technology.
The 10th annual Transportation Research Board Automated Road Transportation Symposium explored the myriad policy questions and debates surrounding connected and autonomous vehicle technology.
The possibility of new funding and potential expansion opportunities has high-speed rail advocates watching the activity in Washington, D.C. If new infrastructure is funded, it could jumpstart a new era of rail travel.
Lake Nona, a 17-square-mile pivate planned community near Orlando International Airport in Florida, is a citywide test site for “movement analytics” technology to better understand traffic and other forms of mobility.
A plan to modernize IT and better enable a work-from-anywhere posture in Santa Monica, Calif., served the city well when the COVID-19 pandemic reshuffled city services and how they are delivered.
The National Science Foundation, US Ignite and other partners announced the launch of a wireless communications testbed in rural central Iowa to explore expanding broadband access to rural America and other innovations.
Officials from the electric vehicle industry say the nation needs some $87 billion in charging infrastructure investment in the next 10 years to get it on the path to 100 percent EV sales by 2035.
In comments at the CoMotion MIAMI transportation and urbanism conference, LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds put forward a vision of expanded access to affordable and equitable transportation in her city and beyond.
The Montgomery County Public Schools district is transitioning all 1,400 school buses to electric models, aggressively retiring diesel buses as more districts explore funding and cleaner transportation options.
As the Smart Columbus project closes out its five-year run, the city is preparing for a new smart city future, building on the projects, successes and lessons learned to begin exploring innovations around renewable energy and closing the digital divide.
U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg addressed the opening session of the Forth Roadmap Conference this week, stressing the need to transform the transportation sector as a central effort to combat climate change.
Relay, an autonomous shuttle program launched in Fairfax County, Va., in October 2020, is offering officials a better understanding of how driverless shuttles navigate live traffic and how to improve work zone safety.
New research from the Union of Concerned Scientists found that as electric utilities phase out fossil fuels like coal, the electric cars they recharge far outpace gas-powered cars when considering overall greenhouse gas emissions.
Expect to see more low-speed, autonomous shuttle projects developing into full-scale integrated transit services. The Jacksonville Transportation Authority in Florida plans to launch the first phase of AV shuttles into its transit mix by 2023.
A partnership among industry, the National Science Foundation and US Ignite has formed the OpenAirX-Labs to grow the development and testing of open source 5G software to increase innovation in wireless technology.
The Los Angeles Metro Board voted to move forward with developing a pilot project that would make transit free for students and low-income riders on one of the nation’s largest transit systems.
Peachtree Corners, Ga., is partnering with Qualcomm Technologies and Jacobs to deploy direct vehicle-to-everything communications in two city vehicles as a development to improve safety and traffic management.
The Utah Department of Transportation is partnering with Blyncsy to provide dashcam imagery showing road conditions in and around Salt Lake City. The cameras will be mounted on ride-share vehicles, among others.
Transit agencies in Maryland and Massachusetts have turned to renewable energy microgrid projects to better manage the needs of their bus fleets. The move will also help meet aggressive sustainability goals.
The Virginia Smart Community Testbed in Stafford County will test emerging technologies in real-world settings. The project is a partnership between the county and the Center for Innovative Technology.
Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport is experimenting with autonomous technology from ThorDrive in its vehicles carrying luggage between the terminal and aircraft.