Palo Alto has been named the #5 Digital City of its size (up to 75,000 population) by the Center for Digital Government in its annual 2016 Digital Cities Survey. For the past 15 years, the annual survey recognizes cities using technology to improve citizen services, enhance transparency and encourage citizen engagement.
This year, Palo Alto was recognized for its efforts to apply smart city technology to help solve traffic challenges. The City is looking to integrate its employee commute information with the carpooling app Scoop. The app automatically matches commuters based on their route, and guarantees a ride to and from work. Palo Alto also co-hosted a connected vehicle workshop with the Ford Research & Innovation Center that brought together representatives from BMW, General Motors, Google and other automotive manufacturers to discuss the future of transportation. Part of the solution is implementing a connected vehicle module as one of the final elements of the new traffic signal system project that will allow the City to broadcast real-time traffic signal data to support the connected and autonomous vehicle marketplace. Palo Alto solicited input from automobile and system manufacturers on data sets that can be made available through the module.
For the past several years, Palo Alto has been consistently ranked as a digital leader in similar sized cities, and was named the #1 Digital City in 2013. The winners of this year's survey will be recognized during the National League of Cities’ annual conference on Nov. 17. The Center for Digital Government is a national research and advisory institute focused on information technology policies and best practices in state and local government.