Rep. Suzan DelBene is drafting new legislation that may make it easier for communities to pilot “smart city” technology and share best practices.

The internet of things – or the developing technologies that network everyday objects – could help cities more efficiently use their resources by digitally managing trashcans, street lights or parking lots, DelBene (D-Wash.) told a panel at an Information Technology and Innovation Foundation event at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia July 27. 

The bill would aim to help local officials share information on proven technologies to better understand the cost savings and return on investment while reducing the risk of wasting money on initiatives that don’t work, she said. 

“That’s the kind of collective knowledge that I think will be critical because a lot of our local communities don’t want to be the beta testers especially if it costs a lot of money and doesn’t work out well,” DelBene said.

DelBene, a co-chair and co-founder of the Congressional Internet of Things Caucus, said she was working with Senate lawmakers on the bill, which would include a focus on public-private partnerships and grant programs.