Seven Smart City Challenge Finalist Cities Get US DOT Visit

Washington DC - infoZine - U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx will visit each of the Smart City Challenge finalist cities during the week of May 16 to meet with mayors and other local leaders as they work to complete their final proposals due on May 24, 2016. The winner of the Challenge will receive up to $40 million from USDOT to help create a fully integrated, first-of-its-kind city that uses data, technology and creativity to shape how people and goods move in the future.

"As we enter the final weeks of the Smart City Challenge, I'm incredibly excited to meet with local leaders to learn more about their unique visions for the future of their cities," said Secretary Foxx. "I look forward to hearing about the transportation challenges that they are facing and learning their ideas to tackle them."

Smart City Challenge Roundtable Dates and Locations:
  • Monday, May 16 - Pittsburgh, PA and Columbus, OH
  • Tuesday, May 17 - Austin, TX and Denver, CO
  • Wednesday, May 18 - San Francisco, CA and Portland, OR
  • Friday, May 20 - Kansas City, MO

Seven Smart City Challenge Finalist Cities
Graphic courtesy of USDOT
In March, Secretary Foxx announced the seven city finalists – which were selected from a pool of 78 total applications. Each of the finalist cities was awarded a $100,000 grant to further develop their proposals.

The first phase of the Challenge called for a high-level overview of each city's plan to tackle transportation challenges; however, the winning city will be selected based on its ability to think big and provide a detailed roadmap on how it will integrate new technologies to demonstrate what the future of transportation can look like in action. Cities are also required to demonstrate how their plans will reach different demographics across the city, ensuring that people from all areas, levels of income and degrees of physical ability will enjoy the benefits of living in a "Smart City."

In order to help them reach their ambitious goals, the USDOT has been working with the cities to connect them with existing partnerships that support their final proposals with technical assistance. Partners that have already joined the Smart City Challenge include:

Paul G. Allen's Vulcan Inc.: As the DOT launch partner, Paul G. Allen's Vulcan Inc. is offering an additional $10 million to the winning city to demonstrate "what's possible" by transforming a city's transportation system into one that is electrified and low-carbon, in addition to showcasing new ideas and bold innovations.

Mobileye: Will equip the winning city's public bus system with their Mobileye's Shield +TM on every bus which helps bus drivers avoid and mitigate imminent collisions and protect road users including bicyclists, pedestrians, and motorcyclists.

Autodesk: Will provide finalists with access to (and training on) Infraworks 360, a modeling platform that uses 3-D visualizations and real-world data to plan major engineering projects.

NXP: Will provide the winning city with wireless communication modules that allow cars to securely exchange data, such as hazard warnings, over distances of more than a mile to prevent accidents and improve traffic flow.

AMAZON WEB SERVICES: As DOT's cloud service partner, Amazon Web Services (AWS) will provide solution architecture and best practices guidance to the finalists to help them leverage AWS services for Smart City solutions, as well as award $1 Million of credits to the Challenge winner for AWS Cloud services and AWS Professional Services.

ALPHABET'S SIDE WALK LABS: DOT, Sidewalk Labs and the seven Smart City finalists will partner to design Flow, the first platform that can shape transportation outcomes using analytics and citizen engagement. Flow will offer unprecedented city-wide transportation analytics to help cities understand congestion and identify areas underserved by transit, using aggregated, anonymized data from billions of miles of trips. In addition to building a mobility platform, Sidewalk Labs will install over 100 kiosks in four neighborhoods (approximately 25 blocks) of the winning city.

The Department developed the Smart City Challenge as a response to the trends identified in the Beyond Traffic draft report. The report, issued last year, revealed that our nation's aging infrastructure is not equipped to deal with a dramatically growing population in regions throughout the country. It also identified a need to increase mobility options in developing megaregions – specifically mid-sized cities.

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