Stories

Sen. Cortez Masto: Safety is a key component of smart cities

Photo: Chuck Kennedy / Axios

Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto said safety has to be a key component of new technological advances as they transform U.S. cities.

Why it matters: Citizens' safety is a primary concern as technology marches toward replacing humans in a number of different functions in our cities, such as driving. New attention has been drawn to this this issue by this week's fatal crash involving an autonomous vehicle in Arizona.

When it come to new technologies such as self-driving cars and drones, "We want to embrace it but we also want to put guardrails in place," she said at an Axios event on smart cities Thursday morning. "We build that at the same time we build the infrastructure for this technology."

  • On drones: She is also spearheading the Safe Drones Act in Congress, and Nevada is a drone testing ground. Testing, she said, is key to ensuring drones are developed in a controlled environment so safety protections can be built into that process.
  • Workers matter: Cortez Masto, a former attorney general of Nevada, said workers have to be part of the equation of next-generation cities. Enhanced productivity is one of the major promises of new connected technologies, but they must have access to essential tools, such as broadband, and opportunities to receive the right training.