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In February of 2015, the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) released “Beyond Traffic 2045: Trends and Choices. Beyond Traffic examines the long-term and emerging trends affecting our Nation’s transportation system and the implications of those trends. It describes how demographic and economic trends, as well as changes in technology, governance, and our climate are affecting how people and goods travel today, and how they could affect travel in the future. It outlines choices that will require cities to think differently about how we move, how we move things, how we move better, how we adapt, and how we align decisions and dollars.
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Our population is expected to grow by 70 million over the next 30 years…that’s more than the current populations of New York, Texas, and Florida.
Most of this population growth will be concentrated in metropolitan areas or cities. Growing urbanization will continue to put significant strain on city infrastructure and transportation networks. Many cities see advantages in urbanization, but these cities are also saddled with concentrated growth, shrinking revenues, and increased transportation demand.
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By 2045, the number of Americans over age 65 will increase by 77%.
About one-third of people over age 65 have a disability that limits mobility. Their access to critical services will be more important than ever.
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There are 73 million Millennials aged 18-34. They are the first to have access to the internet during their formative years and will be an important engine of the future economy.
Millennials are driving less. By the end of the 2000’s they drove over 20% fewer miles than at the start of the decade.
Today, 90% of American own a smart phone
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90% of American adults own a mobile phone.
Mobile access to everything from traffic data to transit schedules informs our travel choices.
20% of adults user their phones for up-to-the-minute traffic or transit data. And smartphones are regularly used for turn-by-turn navigation.
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On average, Americans spend over 40 hours stuck in traffic each year. The annual financial cost of congestion is estimated to be $121 billion.
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Freight demand is expected to be concentrated in metropolitan areas. Congestion in several metropolitan population centers is already severe and could become more extreme by 2045.
Increasing freight demand in these densely populated areas will complicate “first mile” movement of goods out of ports and the “last mile” movement of goods from freight hubs to their final destinations.
Truck congestion wastes $27 billion in time and fuel annually.
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The transportation sector is the second-biggest source of greenhouse gases (GHGs).
AT the same time. studies indicate that cities generate 67% of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere. Experts predict that this figure with rise to 74% by 2030
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Estimates indicate that nearly 30% of automobile traffic in business districts is attributable to drivers driving around, waiting for parking
At the same time…on average, a car stays parked 22 hours a day.
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More and more, the transportation sector is relying on data to drive decisions, and on technology to reimagine how we move people and goods.
Big data is all around us. Global data generated is projected to grow by 40% annually.
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Data enables innovative transportation options, such as car sharing, ridesharing, and pop-up bus services, and more rapid delivery of good.
The sharing economy and new transportation services are providing people with more options, helping to overcome barriers to the use of non-driving forms of transportation, and shifting individuals’ travel choices. Advanced technology and services deployed throughout a city will allow people to adopt “car-free” and “car-light” lifestyles with dramatically less driving. For people to be willing to share assets there must be a seamless, low-friction way to do so.
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Connected Vehicles
Connected vehicles use vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communications to provide connectivity that will enable countless safety, mobility, and environmental applications. Connected vehicle technologies allow vehicles to send and receive information about their movements in the network – offering cities unprecedented opportunities to provide more responsive and efficient mobility solutions in real-time and in the long term. Data derived from connected vehicles provide insights to transportation operators helping to understand demand and assist in predicting and responding to movements around a city. A successful Smart City may demonstrate safety, mobility, and/or environmental applications.
Automation
Automated transportation offers tremendous possibilities for enhancing safety, mobility, accessibility, equity, and the environment. The Smart City can provide national leadership through its demonstration and assessment of automated transportation applications and systems for the movement of goods and people.
Some examples of automated transportation in an urban environment include:
Self-driving vehicles coupled with smart infrastructure;
Driver-assisted automation could reduce fuel use and congestion enabling closer spacing and narrower lanes for vehicles;
Self-driving shuttles and other forms of fully automated vehicles could operate at low speeds enabling new mobility options for services such as first/last mile travel to local destinations and access to public transportation; and
Fully automated trucks and buses may also be used in intermodal facilities, such as ports, depots, and maintenance facilities to improve driver and vehicle efficiencies.
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To overcome the challenges discussed earlier, cities must find ways to foster the emergence of technologies that have the potential to transform transportation. A number of trends in technology are taking place. How we collect and analyze data, how communications and mobile platforms evolve, and when connected and automated vehicle technologies emerge, are questions that hold the promise of making our future transportation system safer, more accessible and efficient, and more environmentally sustainable.
Smart cities are emerging as a concept that can be used to address these issues starting today.
Several definitions exist for Smart Cities. This definition was taken from the Smart Cities Council and is consistent with other definitions:
A smart city is “A city that uses information and communications technology (ICT) to enhance its livability, workability and sustainability.”
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Technology convergence will revolutionize transportation, dramatically improving safety and mobility while reducing costs and environmental impacts
With Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) laying the groundwork for innovative transportation solutions, many cities are currently serving as laboratories for new types of transportation services. Smart cities are emerging as a next-generation approach for city management, taking the steps forward along the transportation technology continuum. Integrating ITS, connected vehicle technologies, automated vehicles, and other advanced technologies – along with new mobility concepts that leverage the sharing economy – within the context of a city provides the enhance travel experiences and make moving people and goods safer, more efficient, and more secure. By enhancing the effective management and operation of the transportation system, smart city solutions can leverage existing infrastructure investments, enhance mobility, sustainability, and livability for citizens and businesses, and greatly increase the attractiveness and competitiveness of cities and regions.
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The Smart City Challenge is designed to help cities begin to address the difficulties 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 to demonstrate how advanced data and ITS technologies and applications can be used to reduce congestion, keep travelers safe, protect the environment, respond to climate change, connect underserved communities, and support economic vitality.
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Phase 1: Proposals for Phase 1’s Notice of Funding Opportunity are due February 4, 2016 at 3:00 pm ET.  Applicants are asked to include a high level vision of proposed demonstration, framework, and initial concepts tailored to their city. Fixed amount cooperative agreements of $100,000 will be awarded to an estimated five Smart City Challenge Finalists to support concept development and planning activities.
Phase 2: Finalists will further develop their concepts for demonstration. One city will be selected to implement their proposed concept. USDOT will provide funding up to $40 million to the winning city. In addition, Vulcan is offering an additional $10 million to the winning city to support infrastructure for electric vehicles and the winning city's public bus system will get installation of Mobileye's Shield +TM on every bus.
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To assist cities, the USDOT identified twelve vision elements that are intended to provide a framework for applicants to consider in the development of a city’s proposed demonstration without making each item a requirement for award.
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Brian Cronin
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