DOT opens dataset on Smart City Challenge ideas

DOT opens dataset on Smart City Challenge ideas

To share the lessons and innovations the Department of Transportation gleaned from the applicant cities to its Smart City Challenge, it has released a summary report and created an online dataset of submissions of the seven finalists that features the challenge addressed, proposed project category and project description.

The agency received submissions from 78 cities with ideas on improving ride sharing, planning for autonomous vehicles, increasing electric vehicle use and advancing data gathering, storage and analysis.

Many of the applicants’ projects tackled congestion. San Francisco’s strategy, for example, featured carpooling and included  a designated carpool lane, an app to coordinate carpooling and sensors to monitor carpool lanes.

As overall traffic numbers are slated to increases on the nation’s roadways in the coming years, freight is predicted to increase as well -- 40 percent in the next 30 years, according to the report. Denver’s Smart City submission detailed how the city will make a freight corridor and to include “comprehensive freight parking and traffic information systems, freight signal prioritization, designated parking and staging areas,” the report said.

With more cargo and passenger vehicles on the roads, emissions will rise and air quality will decrease. That is why many cities’ proposals included ideas for bringing more electric vehicles into their government fleets and creating more charging infrastructure. Others planned to reduce overall energy use by converting stop lights to LEDs.

Of the original submissions there were 53 that included plans on how to add sensors to infrastructure and vehicles and have them communicate. Kansas City plans to make data on travel flows, traffic crashes, energy usage and air pollution open to the public.

Although Columbus won the challenge, details on all of the project specifics are included in the dataset from all seven finalists: Austin, Texas; Columbus; Denver; Kansas City, Mo.; Pittsburgh; Portland, Ore.; and San Francisco.

The dataset breaks down the city’s plans and filters the information by categories of environment, mobility and safety. There are 743 projects for the seven cities listed in the dataset.

About the Author

Matt Leonard is a reporter/producer at GCN.

Before joining GCN, Leonard worked as a local reporter for The Smithfield Times in southeastern Virginia. In his time there he wrote about town council meetings, local crime and what to do if a beaver dam floods your back yard. Over the last few years, he has spent time at The Commonwealth Times, The Denver Post and WTVR-CBS 6. He is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, where he received the faculty award for print and online journalism.

Leonard can be contacted at mleonard@gcn.com or follow him on Twitter @Matt_Lnrd.

Click here for previous articles by Leonard.


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