The U.S. Dept. of Transportation announced the finalist cities in the Smart City Challenge on March 12. The cities of Austin, Tex.; Columbus, Ohio; Denver; Kansas City, Mo.; Pittsburgh; Portland, Ore.; and San Francisco will vie for up to $50 million in grants to show how an innovative city can use advanced data, technologies, and applications to shape how people and goods move in the future.
The DOT initiated the Smart City Challenge last December. Each finalist city will now receive a $100,000 grant and have two months to develop a detailed proposal on how to make their plans a reality.
Among the plans are Columbus’ desire to create a system of on-demand driverless shuttles, according to the Washington Post.
Denver wants to reduce congestion and reduce the time and energy needed to move people and goods as its population increases, according to the Denver Post.
Kansas City plans to implement digital services such as Wi-Fi along a new rapid bus line and a new downtown streetcar route, along with bike-share programs and preparations for self-driving cars, according to the Kansas City Star.
Pittsburgh wants to build “smart spines” that collect transportation data using sensors in major corridors and position Pittsburgh as a test bed for future transportation technology, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Portland plans to connect electric-vehicle charging stations to its streetlight system, according to the Washington Post.
The winning city is scheduled to be announced in June.
“This is an opportunity for the winning city to define what it means to be a ‘Smart City’ when it comes to transportation,” says U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.