US regions respond to smart city challenge

The US DOT has received a large response from cities around the country to its challenge to tackle the issues of mobility and safety faced by growing communities.

US DoT smart city challengeThe United States Department of Transportation (DOT) has seen a significant response to its “Smart City Challenge” with applications having been received from as many as 77 cities across the country. The objective of the challenge is to use innovative methods of creating fully integrated transport systems in cities using data, technology and creativity for the safe and efficient movement of people and freight.

As a result of the challenge, the winning city will receive up to 40 million USD in prize money from the DOT to implement its plans as well as an additional 10 million USD, which has been put up by Vulcan for the deployment of strategies for emission reduction including electric vehicles. Additionally, Mobileye will provide its deiver assistance safety technology to fit to the winning city’s fleet of buses.

The challenge has some prerequisites and includes the use of cross-platform innovations including autonomous vehicles and Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS).

Commenting on the extent and reach of the challenge and how it will affect American transport, the US Transportation Secretary, Anthony Foxx said, “This Challenge is going to do more than just help one city adopt innovative ideas. Instead, it will serve as a catalyst for widespread change in communities across America.”

The Smart City Challenge originally came about as a result of the contents of a report last year that revealed how the country’s ageing transport infrastructure was not able to deal with the continuing evolution of the population’s demands. The need for increased mobility in the emerging “megaregions” and the challenges being faced by medium sized cities were the catalyst for the introduction of the challenge.

The 5 challenge finalists will be announced during March and each will receive one hundred thousand dollars with which to develop their proposals and applications for the final selection process scheduled for June 2016.

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