While travelling in Europe this week, Microsoft invited me to visit the Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona for a bit and check out innovation around governance, mobility, society, sustainability, and technology. Judging by the reported 11,000 attendees representing companies and cities from around the world, there is great interest in these topics. I walked around the trade show pretty much all day and it was very crowded even with sunny Barcelona beckoning with a perfect 71F. The event gave me the opportunity to see many interesting technologies.

Many innovations focused on smart traffic routing and parking supported by sensors. Solutions in this category address the need to decrease traffic congestion or enable drivers to find available parking spots — problems afflicting many cities. Car-sharing initiatives by city communities were shown and explained.  Autonomous vehicles were on display and got a lot of attention while raising questions about financing and insuring some of these new developments.

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