US DOT Launches $40M Smart City Challenge

Funding of up to $40 million in funding will go to one mid-sized city that puts forward bold, data-driven ideas to improve lives by making transportation safer, easier, and more reliable


U.S. Department of Transportation

Our Beyond Traffic study indicates that many communities --particularly mid-sized cities-- will experience rapid population increases and rapidly growing demands on their transportation infrastructure in the next few decades.  DOT's Smart City Challenge is designed to help cities begin to address the challenges these trends present.

To show what is possible when communities use technology to connect transportation assets into an interactive network, the Smart City Challenge will concentrate federal resources into one medium-sized city, selected through a nationwide competition. Funding of up to $40 million in funding will go to one mid-sized city that puts forward bold, data-driven ideas to improve lives by making transportation safer, easier, and more reliable.

Additionally, the Smart City Challenge will provide the opportunity to highlight the role of public-private partnerships in addressing our transportation challenges. DOT will partner with Vulcan for this competition; Vulcan is offering an additional $10 million to the winning city to support infrastructure for Electric Vehicles (EVs).

Ideally, the winning city will view Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), connected vehicles, and automated vehicles as the next logical step in its existing, robust transportation infrastructure. It should also aim to have critical systems in vehicles and infrastructure that communicate with each other, allow for active citizen participation, and integrate new concepts that leverage the sharing economy.

But, all told, the ground rules for this competition are simpler than you might think. We know a one-size-fits-all prescription doesn't offer the flexibility our transportation challenges require. Instead, we want cities to come up with the solutions that best fit their own needs.

Of course, for the nation to get the most value from this innovative competition, we're particularly interested in elgibility conditions that apply to a broad range of American cities. Learn more about the eligibility criteria and evaluation criteria on our challenge guidelines page.

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