A summary report of key takeaways from applications for USDOT’s Smart City Challenge
A smart city is more than just a technology deployment. It is ultimately about solving real-world urban challenges: USDOT received 78 applications from cities across the country, but some common challenges and solutions were identified by the vast majority of applicants, including:
- Provide first and last mile service for transit users to connect underserved communities to jobs.
- Deploy integrated mobility marketplaces to allow travelers to easily plan multimodal trips, compare trip costs, and purchase mobility services.
- Expand bikeshare, carshare, and rideshare options.
- Improve transit service reliability by establishing bus rapid transit corridors, install signal systems that prioritize buses, and get real time transit information into the hands of riders.
- Facilitate the movement of goods into and within a city.
- Improve reliability of freight by installing signals that prioritize truck movement along freight corridors.
- Provide truckers with real-time information on parking availability and truck routes.
- Demonstrate the potential for automated and connected freight vehicles to make freight movements safer and more efficient.
- Implement smarter curb space management (through sensors, dynamic reservations, and other technologies) to speed loading and unloading.
- Coordinate data collection and analysis across systems and sectors.
- Install closed-circuit cameras and sensors to collect data on vehicle movements, transit reliability, and pedestrian and bicycle traffic.
- Collect data from vehicle probes, connected vehicles, and connected infrastructure.
- Establish open data platforms and inviting citizens to participate in hackathons.
- Limit the impacts of climate and reducing carbon emissions.
- Support the use of electric vehicles by taxi and transportation network company (TNC) fleets.
- Convert public fleets, such as garbage trucks, buses and police cars, to electric vehicles.
- Subsidize the purchase and use of electric vehicles through tax exemptions, energy credits, and bulk buy and loan programs.
- Install electric vehicle charging stations.
- Reduce the digital divide for underserved communities.
- Improve first-mile/last-mile connections to transit, through subsidized TNCs, car and bike share, and autonomous shuttles.
- Expand access to free public Wi-Fi on buses, taxis, and parks.
- Develop specialized apps for non-English speakers and people with disabilities.
- Provide universal transportation payment cards for the unbanked and subsidize a range of travel services for people with low incomes.