Google’s self-driving car during a demonstration at the Google campus in Mountain View, Calif. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar, File)
Swing state Ohio is going to beat out true blue San Francisco this election year in a bid to become a multimillion-dollar testing ground for driverless cars and other cutting-edge transportation technology.
San Francisco was among seven cities selected as finalists by the U.S. Department of Transportation for a $50 million Smart City Challenge Grant to study technology that could change the way we get around town. As part of San Francisco’s bid, 70 companies offered to put up $150 million worth of cars and other in-kind donations.
Mayor Ed Lee even led a delegation to Washington, D.C. last week to pitch the city’s offer.
Alas, now comes word that Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx will announce the winner will be Columbus, Ohio. Probably has nothing to do with the fact that Ohio is crucial to Democrat Hillary Clinton’s presidential aspirations in November.
Still, after LeBron James brought home the basketball gold to Ohio, it’s a bitter pill to swallow for boosters of the Golden State.
“First the NBA championship, now the Smart City Challenge,” Deirdre Hussey, spokeswoman for the mayor, said when we told her of the feds’ decision. “Ohio has something going on.”