Published On: Thu, Jun 23rd, 2016

Columbus Ohio wins DOT’s ‘Smart City Challenge’ and gets $40 million

Public-private partnerships were essential to the success of the Smart City Challenge. The Department announced partnerships with some of the most innovative folks in the private sector, including launch partner Paul G. Allen’s Vulcan Inc., cloud partner Amazon Web Services, NXP® Semiconductors, Mobileye, Autodesk, Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs, AT&T, DC Solar and Continental Automotive.  In addition, these seven cities were able to leverage U.S. DOT’s $40 million grant to raise approximately $500 million more in funding – a vast majority of which comes from a diverse group of over 150 partners.  These partnerships illustrated the private-sector enthusiasm to help build an inclusive transportation system of the future.

Paul G. Allen’s Vulcan Inc.:

“Climate change is a complex challenge, and it will take all of us working together to develop innovative, scalable solutions. One of this competition’s greatest strengths is how it incentivized leaders across the public, private and nonprofit sectors to collaborate,” said Paul G. Allen. “It is my hope that cities across the country will draw from and adapt the ideas from the Smart City Challenge to transform their transportation networks and help put their communities on a more sustainable path.”


“We were impressed with how well the finalists demonstrated their commitment to transforming their respective cities into a fully-integrated city of the future, especially where safety was concerned.” said Mobileye Co-Founder, CTO and Chairman Professor Amnon Shashua. “We anticipate significant advancements from each finalist as a result of this challenge and hope they continue to embrace forward-looking solutions, like Mobileye, and transform transportation infrastructure and safety in their cities. We are more than ready to play our part in ushering in the nation’s first truly smart city and look forward to working with the winner through our participation with Secretary Foxx and the DOT’s Smart City Challenge”

NXP Semiconductors:

“At NXP, we are honored to be able to provide Columbus with innovations that will truly make a difference to how its citizens live and work,” said NXP CEO and President Rick Clemmer. “Through vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2X) technology as well as RFID tagging and smart card ICs, NXP will help Columbus keep its roads safer, reduce pollution, and create more streamlined traffic and toll payments. We look forward to partnering with Columbus and to watch it become a real, tangible example of what the secure, smarter world will look like.”


“The public and private sectors are generally viewed as at odds with one another, but Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx’s Smart City Challenge proves that we can indeed work together to address the challenges facing our cities,” said Carl Bass, CEO of Autodesk. “The Smart City Challenge offered the tech industry and city leaders a common platform to envision and plan a more intelligent, sustainable urban future.  We applaud Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx for his leadership in creating this collaborative effort.”

Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs:

“The DOT Smart City Challenge has inspired cities to shift away from operating in traditional agency silos and towards creating a coordinated, outcome-focused transportation system that reduces congestion and enhances transport equity,” says Anand Babu, COO of Sidewalk Labs. “Data is the key to enabling this transformation, and Sidewalk Labs is excited to partner with cities to provide data-driven applications to better manage roads, parking, and mass transit, and to encourage shared mobility. When governments and technologists collaborate, there is an enormous potential to reimagine the way we approach urban mobility, and Secretary Foxx and the DOT should be commended for moving this critical conversation in a new direction.”

Amazon Web Services:

“Amazon Web Services collaborated with the seven finalist cities during the challenge, and will work closely with Columbus to help implement their smart city vision. Cloud technology is enabling collaboration and the creation of citizen services at an unprecedented rate.”


“AT&T congratulates Columbus on a job well done by showing the vision of what a smart city can accomplish for its citizens,” said Mike Zeto, general manager and executive director, AT&T Smart Cities. “While we look forward to continuing to work with all 78 cities that entered the Challenge, AT&T is especially thrilled to help Columbus bring to life its winning smart cities vision by providing a framework for success that can be scaled across the region and other cities as well.”

DC Solar:

“The Smart City Challenge is a visionary initiative and DC Solar is proud to be named a partner with the DOT,” said Jeff Carpoff, DC Solar’s CEO. “We look forward to working with the city of Columbus to provide solar energy access through mobile solar solutions and EV infrastructure. DC Solar is excited to work with all the finalist and applicant cities who seek clean energy solutions. We applaud Secretary Foxx’s innovative leadership, and we believe the Smart City Challenge will become a model for encouraging clean technologies in communities throughout the U.S.”


At Continental, safety is at the cornerstone of everything that we do. That is why we are proud to join the USDOT’s national Smart City Challenge as a provider of active safety technology and secure connectivity to help advance the development of future mobility services such as automated driving infrastructure solutions, Intelligent Transportation Systems and V2X technology,” said Samir Salman, CEO of Continental North America. “The Smart City Challenge aligns with our company’s mission of Vision Zero, which is our goal to globally eliminate traffic and road fatalities, making mobility safer, more convenient and more efficient for everyone.”

The Department of Transportation and its federal partners, including the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Energy, and the National Institute for Standards and Technology, have committed to keep working collaboratively with all seven finalist cities to identify potential federal, state, local, and private resources to help carry out their Smart City plans. In addition, Vulcan Inc. has announced a new commitment to provide additional funding to support the climate and electrification efforts of all seven cities.

To learn more about the Smart City Challenge, visit www.transportation.gov/smartcity.

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