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Tech veteran Bill Hilf takes on CEO role at Vulcan

Bill Hilf
Bill Hilf, a veteran of Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft, will become CEO of Vulcan Inc. (Credit: Vulcan)

Thirty years after Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen established Vulcan Inc. to build on his vision of a wired world, he’s giving the job of chief executive officer to an outsider: Bill Hilf, a technologist who’s held leadership roles at Hewlett Packard and Microsoft.

“Bill will join Vulcan Dec. 1, reporting directly to me,” Allen said today in a memo. “I will remain chairman and founder, and look forward to working with Bill in setting Vulcan’s vision and strategy and tackling our slate of challenging initiatives.”

Allen has been serving as CEO since 2014, when his sister, Jody Allen, left that post.

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$50M contest aims to jump-start urban transit

An artist’s conception visualizes how “connected vehicles” could communicate. (Credit: USDOT)
An artist’s conception visualizes how “connected vehicles” could communicate. (Credit: USDOT)

The U.S. Department of Transportation and billionaire philanthropist Paul Allen’sVulcan Inc. are offering $50 million to midsize cities, including Seattle, in a “Smart City” competition to promote next-generation transportation systems.

“Our national vision for transportation is still very much constrained by 20th-century thinking about technology,” Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx told reporters today during a teleconference to announce the contest. “We are imagining connected and autonomous vehicles that practically eliminate crashes. And we are imagining this technology interacting with wired infrastructure to eliminate traffic jams as well.”

Foxx said the federal government would be unveiling new guidelines for autonomous vehicles sometime in the next few weeks, and requirements for vehicle-to-vehicle communications in the next year. But he also said DOT wants cities to come up with their own visions for transportation systems that are safer, more efficient and more environmentally friendly.

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