Mayor Soglin's Blog

Madison's Smart Cities Challenge Application

February 19, 2016 5:46 PM

The City of Madison has submitted the grant for the U.S. Department of Transportation's Smart City Challenge!  You may recall that the challenge asked mid-sized cities to collect ideas from residents for a smart transportation future. The winning city receives a $50 million prize to start their transportation transformation! From driverless vehicles to vehicle-to-vehicle communication, anything is possible! Check out Madison's application here and be sure to stay tuned.

POLITICO, a political journal based in Washington, D.C.  started featuring some of the 77 submissions and they began with some details from Madison's application.  I am taking that as a good sign that our application will do well.

ALAS, NO FLYING CARS: It's another whole month before the Department of Transportation announces the five finalists of its $40 million Smart City Challenge innovation grant at SXSW , but MT persuaded some of the 78 cities in the running to give an advance peek at their pie-in-the-sky transportation proposals.  We'll be previewing some of these projects over the next few days.  First up: Madison, Wis. The city's proposal to DOT centers on the creation of a "Shared Madison Data Platform" that "will provide the open source information, infrastructure, and accessibility to develop tools to foster a more efficient and equitable transportation system."

Rideshare and live maps and microtransit fleets, oh my! The platform, Madison official say, will pool data from infrastructure throughout the city, as well as public and private vehicles. "Some of the initial applications developed on the Platform will include a ridesharing algorithm that allows members of the public to connect and share rides for mutual benefit, a live map showing current road conditions, and a single-payer system for all transportation modes. Most importantly, the Platform ... will have the capability to evolve to handle driverless microtransit fleets in the future." Not quite flying cars, but big promises nonetheless!

To learn more about the Smart City Challenge and Madison's involvement follow the link below:

http://www.cityofmadison.com/mayor/priorities/transport-access/smart-madison-shared-madison

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