For the past few years, French entrepreneur Fabrice Brassart has been building what he thinks will be the backbone of the city of the future: a network of app-summoned self-driving cars that seamlessly navigate roads on a rubber pad lined with radio frequency identification tags.
It’s an ambitious project that’s still in the conceptual stage, at least a year from pilot deployment and four years from commercialization. Brassart is still raising funds in Europe for his Nice-based startup, REVA2, and already aims to use French cities Cagnes-sur-Mer and Rennes as testbeds—they have already expressed interest, he said. But he’s found a reason to pursue entering the American market as well: President Donald Trump’s campaign promise for a $1 trillion infrastructure spending plan, meted out over 10 years.
“We will harness technology and make smarter decisions on how we build and utilize our infrastructure,” Trump’s transition team wrote in a brief description of his plans. “Our roads, bridges, airports, transit systems and ports will be the envy of the world and enhance the lives of all Americans.”
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