Alex Davies at Wired: “IN THE NEXT 30 years, the American population will rise by 70 million people. This being the future, those people will love ordering stuff online even more than people do now, which will prompt a 45 percent rise in freight volume. The nation’s roads, already crumbling because Congress likes bickering more than legislating, will be home to 65 percent more trucks.
That’s just one of the ways a report, released earlier this year by the US Department of Transportation, says a growing population will strain an already overloaded highway system. Eager to avert some of these problems and get people thinking about the mobility of tomorrow, today the DOT is launching the Smart City Challenge, a contest that invites American cities to take advantage of new technologies that could change how we move.
Open data, smart gadgets, autonomous vehicles, and connected cars are among the tech already revolutionizing the road, while companies ranging from Apple and Google to Uber and Lyft promise to revolutionize how people and goods get around. The city that offers the most compelling plan gets $50 million to begin making it happen.