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Denver One of 77 Cities Competing for Safety Tech Award

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Smart City Challenge

Smart City Challenge Applicant Map, courtesy DOT’s FastLane blog

Denver, Colorado, is taking part in the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Smart City Challenge, which DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx announced Monday. Denver, one of 77 U.S. cities competing in this first-of-its-kind challenge, is in the running to win Mobileye Shield+ safety technology on every city bus.

Although Transportation.gov lists Colorado Springs as a city that would be ideal for the competition, Colorado Springs is not listed among the competing cities.

Smart City Challenge

In the Smart City challenge, mid-sized U.S. cities send DOT their plans for using data, technology, and creativity to guide how people and goods move, Secretary Foxx wrotes on Transportation.gov’s FastLane blog. The goal of the challenge is to put into action bold, data-driven ideas that will make transportation safer, easier, and more reliable, Derek Major wrote for GCN.

The winning city will be awarded as much as $40 million in federal funds, plus $10 million in support from Paul Allen’s Vulcan, Inc., to help mitigate emissions, as well as the Mobileye Shield+ safety technology for all the city’s transit buses. Foxx says this competition will go far beyond merely helping one city:

Instead, the winning city’s demonstration will serve as a a catalyst for widespread change in communities across America.

Shield Technology

The Shield+ technology helps a bus avoid collisions by placing multivision smart cameras around the vehicle to monitor blind spots. It provides alerts — visual, audible, and vibration — when a pedestrian or cyclist enters a blind spot,  giving bus operators enough time to react, potentially avoiding accidents and saving lives. The smart vision technology analyzes the environment around the bus, ignoring inanimate objects and pedestrians in safe zones.

Shield+ will collect data as the buses travel their routes, recording the number of alerts and where they occur, in order to give city fleet managers information on drivers’ behavior and hotspots around a city where accidents may occur.

Safety Innovation

In addition to the above-mentioned prizes, there are more than 300 other companies that have expressed interest in helping cities move forward in innovating, Secretary Foxx said, adding that the biggest winners will be Americans whose communities adopt the best solutions from among the approaches the 77 competing cities proposed.

Smart City Challengers

In addition to Denver — the only Colorado city participating in the Smart City challenge — the cities include: Anchorage, Alaska; Birmingham and Montgomery, Alabama; Scottsdale and Tucson, Arizona; Fremont, Fresno, Riverside, Oakland, Oceanside, Sacramento, San Francisco, Long Beach, Chula Vista, San Jose, and Moreno Valley, California; New Haven, Connecticut; Washington, D.C.; Tampa, Tallahassee, Miami, Orlando, St. Petersburg, and Jacksonville, Florida; Columbus, Atlanta, and Brookhaven, Georgia; Des Moines, Iowa; Indianapolis, Indiana; Louisville, Kentucky; Shreveport, New Orleans, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Boston, Massachusetts; Baltimore, Maryland; Detroit and Port Huron/Marysville, Michigan; Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota; St. Louis and Kansas City, Missouri; Raleigh and Charlotte, North Carolina; Lincoln and Omaha, Nebraska; Jersey City and Newark, New Jersey; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Las Vegas and Reno, Nevada; Rochester, Buffalo, Yonkers/New Rochelle/Mt. Vernon; Albany/Schenectady/Troy/Saratoga Springs, New York; Columbus, Toledo, Canton, Akron, and Cleveland, Ohio; Tulsa and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Portland, Oregon; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Providence, Rhode Island; Greenville, South Carolina; Memphis, Nashville, and Chattanooga, Tennessee; Austin and Lubbock, Texas; Virgina Beach, Richmond, Newport News, and Norfolk, Virginia; Seattle and Spokane, Washington; and Madison, Wisconsin.

 The DOT has added a Q and A page for cities with additional questions.

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