Minneapolis has been chosen as one of 22 North American cities for a yearlong effort to see how new technology can improve urban transportation, Transportation for America announced Thursday.
The city will be part of the Smart Cities Collaborative, which will share ideas on how innovations such as dockless bike-sharing systems, ride-sharing and autonomous vehicles could change the transportation landscape.
"We need more skill and know-how and want to harness the potential of technology to further our city's goals," said Minneapolis Public Works Director Robin Hutcheson. "It's an opportunity to prepare. If we don't, technology could happen to us instead of for us."
This is the second year for the Smart Cities Collaborative. Minneapolis was among 50 cities that applied. The city will send delegates to four meetings throughout the year, the first April 16-17 in Denver.
This year's group will focus on how emerging technologies and ride options are reshaping the right of way and curb space, said Russ Brooks, Transportation for America's Director of Smart Cities.
"Streets and curb space are some of the most important assets cities control, yet they're often undermanaged," Brooks said.
Hutcheson said she hopes to learn what partnerships the city needs, such as the pilot project with MnDOT that brought an autonomous bus to Nicollet Mall during Super Bowl Week.
Joining Minneapolis are Atlanta; Austin, Texas; Boulder, Colo.; Gainesville, Fla.; Houston; Indianapolis; Los Angeles; Madison, Wis.; Miami-Dade, Fla.; New York City; Pittsburgh; Portland, Ore.; San Diego; San Francisco; San Jose; Santa Monica, Calif.; Washington, D.C.; Seattle; and West Sacramento, Calif., as well as Toronto.