Recode Daily: Did your city make Amazon’s shortlist for its HQ2?

Plus, what has Travis Kalanick been up to? And Spotify is reinventing radio, and are you old money or new money?

Here are the 20 cities Amazon is considering for its second headquarters: The list isn’t very surprising, comprised of a bunch of the bigger East Coast and Midwestern cities; Toronto was the only non-U.S. city on the list. Here’s how the city finalists compare on metrics including tech talent, office space and time to the airport. [Jason Del Rey / Recode]

You’ve read all about the travails of Uber and its troubled co-founder and CEO Travis Kalanick nearly every day over the past year; now here’s a vivid recounting of Kalanick’s contentious final few months as the company’s CEO, and what he’s been up to after being pushed out of the company. Fun fact in a rather dark tale: Kalanick is using his downtime to set up a family office, spend time his father and indulge his obsession with the addictive smartphone game 2048. [Eric Newcomer and Brad Stone / Bloomberg]

On the brighter side for Kalanick: SoftBank completed its investment agreement with Uber, which makes SoftBank Uber’s largest shareholder, and means a huge payday for the co-founder and other early backers. Kalanick will walk away from the deal with $ 1.4 billion. [Deirdre Bosa / Anita Balakrishnan / CNBC]

Spotify has a plan to compete with terrestrial radio and maybe reinvent podcasting. The world’s largest paid music service has made deals with eight companies, including BuzzFeed and Refinery29, to produce programming for a news-and-politics initiative called Spotlight. The move comes as the company preps for an IPO this spring. [Lucas Shaw / Bloomberg]

Snapchat’s parent company, Snap, laid off about two dozen people.Most of the layoffs were in Snap’s content division, which includes editors who work with publishing partners like NBC and BuzzFeed to produce original videos for the app. [Alex Heath / Cheddar]

A committee of journalists in the Los Angeles Times newsroom called for CEO and publisher Ross Levinsohn to be fired, based on findings from an investigative report by NPR. The NPR piece paints Levinsohn as a frat-boy executive whose conduct in work settings has been called into question repeatedly by female colleagues over the past two decades. [David Folkenflik / NPR]

Recode Presents …

Recode is partnering with MSNBC to produce a town hall event series — and it launches today. The first event will feature Google CEO Sundar Pichai and YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, and will be co-hosted by Recode’s Kara Swisher and MSNBC’s Ari Melber. From artificial intelligence to robotics and automation, they’ll examine the challenges and successes of tech. You can watch it in person for free today at noon PT at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, Calif., and it will air on MSNBC at 10 pm ET. on the same date.

We don’t need to tell you much about The New York Times’ star political reporter Maggie Haberman. You’re already consuming her must-read stories — and her Twitter feed — every day for crucial insight into the Trump administration. We’re delighted she’s joining us our Code Media conference in Huntington Beach, Calif. Next month, along with the rest of our powerhouse lineup of speakers — a who’s who of the most influential and interesting people at the intersection of media and technology. Registration information is here.

Top stories from Recode

Here’s the chart that explains why CBS and Viacom want to merge.

They’re big. But not nearly big enough.

Facebook has added American Express CEO Ken Chenault to its board.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg claims he’s been “trying to recruit Ken for years.”

A bill to put more self-driving cars on U.S. roads is stuck in the Senate.

California’s own senator, Dianne Feinstein, isn’t convinced that the technology is ready

Google CEO Sundar Pichai: Digital technology must empower workers, not alienate them.

Coding alone will not prepare workers for our tech-filled future.

How worried should I be about the Spectre and Meltdown security flaws?

On the latest episode of Too Embarrassed to Ask, Axios’ Ina Fried says most consumers might be okay — if they update their systems ASAP.

This is cool

How to tell if you’re old money or new money.

Recode – All

BMW acquires Parkmobile parking app to help tackle city traffic

 BMW has acquired Parkmobile, an app that provides guidance and services for those looking for parking in North America, including on-street and garage parking payments and spot reservation. BMW Group had already held a minority investment in the company, and owned its Parkmobile Group Europe affiliate, but today it increased its holdings to reach majority ownership of Parkmobile, LLC, which… Read More
Mobile – TechCrunch

Panasonic’s Grand Plan for a Futuristic Smart City is Taking Shape

Denver’s Smart City

It was two years ago that Denver, Colorado announced it was partnering with electronics corporation Panasonic to turn a 400-acre stretch of land near the Denver International Airport into a “smart city” — a city that incorporates technology to improve infrastructure.

The Denver smart city project is part of Panasonic’s larger CityNOW initiative that aims to transform cities around the world into ones that are economically friendly, have fully embraced technology, and are overall better places for people to live. It’s the second smart city project following the one built in Fujisawa, Japan in 2015.

While the project still several years away from completion, recent steps taken by the two parties prove that they’re determined to see it through.

Since the partnership, the future smart city has been fitted with WiFi, security cameras, environmental sensors, interactive kiosks, and a microgrid that can power the entire area for 72 hours in the event of a power outage. More recently, attention has been turned to the city’s roads.

Smart Roads

Denver and Panasonic teamed up with the Colorado Department of Transportation in 2017 to develop a $ 72 million system called Road X. The program aims to reduce vehicle accidents by facilitating communications between vehicles and the city’s infrastructure. Road X could suggest optimal navigation routes based on real-time traffic patterns or implement “virtual guardrails” to notify drivers when they drift out of lanes.

This year has even more in store for Denver’s smart city. Panasonic — in collaboration with French self-driving bus developer EasyMilewill introduce an autonomous shuttle that will connect the city’s rail station to bus routes on Denver’s Tower Road.

Concept image of Denver's completed smart city. Image Credit: Panasonic
Concept image of Denver’s completed smart city. Image Credit: Panasonic

While much progress is being made, it’ll still be some time before Denver’s smart city is completed. The one built in Japan was an eight-year endeavor, and work on Denver’s isn’t expected to finish until 2026.

While the CityNOW project has seemingly been successful so far, there’s no telling what could transpire over the next several years, such as the idea failing to expand to other states due to politics. But, if the red tape can be cut through, Denver’s smart city could stand as a shining example of how science and technology can improve daily life for all people.

The post Panasonic’s Grand Plan for a Futuristic Smart City is Taking Shape appeared first on Futurism.