Denver Mayor Michael Hancock presented Denver's case for the $50-million Smart Cities Challenge grant in Washington D.C.
The U.S. Dept. of Transportation will award the grant to the city that best defines what it means to be a "Smart City," one that will become the country's first to fully integrate new technologies like self-driving cars, connected vehicles and smart sensors into its transportation network.
Transportation Secretary Anthony Fox said without new technologies, the future looks grim for transportation.
"In 30 years, we're going to have 70-million more people competing for space on our roadways, on our railways, on our runways and our ports," Fox said.
The Secretary added that President Obama charged his department and the country to do everything possible to reinvent a 21st century transportation system.
"One of the offshoots of that charge is the Smart City Challenge," he said.
Seven cities are still in the running for the big money, including Denver, San Francisco, Portland, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Columbus and Austin, Texas.
During part of his recorded presentation, Hancock said, “We value being connected. From our airport to our rail system, we’ve made bold investments.”
Hancock said Denver has known the importance of good transportation from its early days, when the transcontinental railroad bypassed the city in favor of Cheyenne.
He said civic leaders raised a million dollars and built a line to the Wyoming capital, so Denver could be in the middle of transcontinental commerce.
He said Denver’s plan for the Smart City Challenge grant starts with an intelligent data eco-system.
“This living data engine will gather information and make it available to anyone who wants it,” he said. “Then we will establish a new mobility marketplace that eliminates barriers and gives everyone access to more choices.”
Summary of Denver’s Smart City Challenge Grant
Denver’s application was crafted by the City, Regional Transportation District and Colorado Department of Transportation and is supported by more than 50 partners. We are proposing to establish a robust data management and sharing platform that will connect disparate data sets from multiple agencies. This unified data platform will support and be integrated with three strategic mobility components:
Mobility on Demand – This component will become Denver’s bridge to mobility options by bringing them to our fingertips through apps and kiosks. This initiative will integrate the city’s five car sharing and three ride sharing companies with B-Cycle and RTD to empower customers to make transportation decisions based on their preferences – on one interactive platform.
Vehicle Electrification – This component will expand the electrification infrastructure to help increase market share for electric vehicles. The initiative also will electrify the taxi and City vehicle fleets, introduce wireless charging (including for transit buses) and electrify components of the ride sharing economy.
Intelligent Vehicles – This component will introduce an urban deployment of connected-vehicle technology, building on CDOT’s RoadX program and removing regulatory barriers to autonomous vehicle technology. This initiative also will aim to introduce autonomous elements to fleet and transit vehicles while testing autonomous vehicle business models.
Our Smart City Program will allow us to leverage existing infrastructure, respect prior investments and
Our Smart City Program will allow us to leverage existing infrastructure, respect prior investments and connect users with rapidly advancing technologies. The benefits will be transformational, enabling Denver to:
- Convert a significant percentage of the city’s fleet vehicles to electric
- Accelerate the build-out of electric vehicle charging stations
- Create a policy and regulatory environment inviting for automated vehicles
- Establish a path for an 80 percent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050
- Increase bike and pedestrian commuter mode share to 15 percent by 2020
- Reduce single-occupant vehicle mode share to 60 percent by 2020
- Install 15 miles of new bike lanes each year o Increase the number of and public availability of transportation-related open data sets
- Successfully implement a Vision Zero safety program to reduce and ultimately eliminate vehicle-related crashes, injuries and fatalities.
The winner of the grant will be announced in late June.