Finalists of the Smart City Challenge announced

This blog appeared on the Smart Mobility Summit USA website at:

The seven finalists in the US Department of Transportation’s ‘Smart City Challenge’ competition have just been announced, with the final winner looking to pick up the $50 million prize.

The competition was established last year to challenge US cities to integrate technology into their transportation services and to embrace smart technology in order to reduce congestion and accidents. Technologies such as in-vehicle and on-road sensors, as well as WiFi transmitters allow vehicles to interact with each other and with their surroundings in order to make US roads safer and less congested.

The seven final cities and projects are:

  • Austin, Texas – Self-driving cars, road sensors, and traffic monitoring.
  • Columbus, Ohio – Multi-modal transportation and vehicle charging infrastructure.
  • Denver, Colorado – Smartphone apps, electric car infrastructure, and vehicle hot spots.
  • Kansas City, Missouri – New high-speed bus link, and infrastructure for self-driving vehicles.
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – Adaptive transportation system and better transportation to neighbourhoods.
  • Portland, Oregon – Smart sensor-based infrastructure, vehicle diagnostics, and traffic management.
  • San Francisco, California – Improve congestion and parking challenges, and test new transportation technologies.

In addition to the main prize, a new partnership between Smart City Challenge and Amazon Web Services means that all the finalists will get help with their system architecture, and the winner will get $1 million in cloud service credits.

All of the finalists receive a $100,000 prize to further develop their projects. Winners will be announced in June.

This reflects other initiatives that have been launched around the globe. From Colombia to the UK to the US, competitions have been launched to stimulate innovation and to bring ideas and visions to reality.

Clearly smart cities are at the top of the agenda across the world, which is why we, at Smart Mobility Summit USA, are delighted to welcome speakers from the forefront of smart city development:

  • Minerva Tantoco – New York City’s first-ever Chief Technology Officer responsible for developing a strategic vision that ensures new technology initiatives offer value across the entire city.
  • Vijay Sammeta – CIO of the City of San Jose, who is responsible for shaping the strategic direction of the capital city of the Silicon Valley technology hub and oversees the city’s annual $18 million IT operating budget.

With an ever-increasing proportion of the world’s population moving to urban areas, smart cities affect us all. They need to work, for the benefits of citizens, governments and businesses alike. That’s why infrastructure is so important – smart applications depend on smart devices and the connectivity between them. Connectivity is the vital link in any smart service chain.

At the Smart Mobility Summit, we’re getting ready to discuss how this connectivity can best be enabled and to learn from experts how this ecosystem is being mobilised to deliver on the vision.

What does this mean in practice? We’ll find out at the Smart Mobility Summit.

What are you waiting for? Come and join us on 22nd–23rd March in San Jose, and hear about some of the cutting-edge projects already underway in the communications industry. Register now at [NOTE TO ALEX this needs to be linked to … Hassan doesn’t like the fact it’s a cvent url, so we are just changing the text url that shows in the newsletter – make sense?]