Smart City Challenge draws applications from 77 US cities

KIA Soul EV Eaton Charging 2 (CHARGED Ev)

The Smart City Challenge is a competition organized by the DOT to encourage cities to develop plans for a 21st-century intelligent transportation system, including such innovations as data-driven management platforms, electric and automated vehicles, and the sharing economy.

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has announced that 77 cities have submitted applications for the Smart City Challenge, including medium-size cities from Anchorage to Albuquerque to Reno to Rochester.

The winning city will be awarded up to $40 million to implement the proposed projects. A couple of private firms have gotten in on the action, too: Paul Allen’s Vulcan Inc. has announced that it will award up to $10 million to the challenge winner to support EV deployment and other carbon emission reduction strategies, and Mobileye announced that it would outfit the entire fleet of the winning city’s bus system with its collision avoidance technology.

Five finalists will be announced at SXSW in Austin on March 12, and each will receive $100,000 to hone their proposals for the final selection process scheduled for June 2016.

SmartCity Challenge

“Cities understand that in order to plan for tomorrow, they need to embrace technology and innovation.” said Secretary Foxx. “This Challenge is going to do more than just help one city adopt innovative ideas. It will serve as a catalyst for widespread change in communities across America.”

“The extensive interest this Challenge has generated demonstrates the tremendous opportunity to transform our country’s transportation systems,” said Vulcan CEO Barbara Bennett. “Electrification of transportation will play a critical role in reducing greenhouse gases.”


Source: Securing America’s Future Energy

  • brian_gilbert

    Why all these subsidies. Going completely driverless is enormously profitable. The vehicles are purchased by the thousand. Only a fraction of the present number are needed because they run all day. tHey can use existing roads with a bit of help from GPS, Lidar or magnetic markers. You can call up a mobile lounge for less than a current taxi. It needs the politicians to cooperate but once a few take the lead the others will rush to follow. And that is all types of vehicle not just cars. Parking problems? a thing of the past….and you will arrive on time so no need to allow for congestion.

    • bytrain

      Educating a populace to embrace a technology like this will not be cheap. Even here in California, where vehicle choice and incentives are abundant, the vast majority of the populace still has no awareness of electric vehicles and their benefits.

      • brian_gilbert

        I agree. I expect a more enlightened government to implement it first. Other countries would then be faced with being uncompetitive unless they followed suit. My bet is in Singapore, Taiwan or China.

  • brookse32

    The citizens of San Francisco should have been involved in developing this application from the first notice that the funds were being made available. Instead, this is the first we have heard of it.

    This is yet more insider game playing by the mayor’s office to benefit Ron Conway, PG&E and other corporate profiteers.