USDOT Announces “Smart City Challenge”

December 9, 2015

On Monday the U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx held a press conference call to announce a “Smart City Challenge” which is boasting $40 million in prize money from USDOT for a winning city that submits the best application defining what a Smart City should be. The competition is aimed at mid-size cities with populations between 200,000 and 850,000, with the aim to select a winning city that has the potential to influence change within the financial constraints.

The Smart City Challenge has also teamed up with Vulcan Inc., who intends to award the winning city an additional $10 million to help the city incorporate electric vehicle infrastructure into their city.

Foxx noted that “our cities are our laboratories of innovation,” and that this competition is aimed at inspiring ideas that include elements such as engaging autonomous vehicles, connected vehicles, ITS elements, and other innovative approaches that are outside-the-box. He further clarified that “rather than simply relying on serendipity to lead [the U.S.] into a period of innovation, we believe that it’s important to actively pursue this conversation.”

Proposals should be submitted to USDOT by February 4, finalists will be selected in May, and the final winner will be announced in June. USDOT will be holding a series of webcasts and conducting a robust outreach process to aid potential applicants. There will be no matching requirement in order to eligible for this funding. Read more about the initiative here.

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