Like its fellow competitor cities, San Francisco putting the final touches on its proposal for the U.S. Department of Transportation decides the winner of the Smart City Challenge, which will provide $50 million in federal funding to build a smart city. Unlike its fellow cities, though, it also has $150 million in pledged private sector support if it wins.
The final seven cities were announced last week, they include Austin, Columbus, Denver, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Portland, and San Francisco. A panel of federal judges will decide the winner later this week.
San Francisco’s proposal covers all of the elements of a “smart city,” it wants to create an integrated transport system that lowers car usage, a higher adoption of electric vehicles, smart sensors that can monitor congestion and public service usage, and new tools for autonomous vehicle vendors to test and sell cars, pods, and trucks publicly.
San Francisco wants to see solo driving in the rearview mirror
“The vision of San Francisco phasing out its reliance on single occupant vehicles by adopting a path toward Shared, Electric, Connected and Automated Vehicles (SECAV) deployment through the Smart City Challenge will be nothing short of transformational here and for cities across the world,” says the San Francisco team in a presentation. “We imagine our City having its public rights of way repurposed to spaces where people of all backgrounds and abilities will be able to enjoy, explore and experience the City whether they are a resident, commuter, a visitor or delivering goods.”
To many, San Francisco is seen as one of the tech capitals of the world. Google, Apple, Snapchat, and plenty of other tech companies are headquartered in the city, giving it a natural advantage over the other six.
“About 70 companies, including Ford Motor Co., autonomous vehicle designer Zoox, and self-driving technology company Optimus Ride, have offered to support San Francisco’s vision with technological resources if the city is chosen as the winner,” said representatives from the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency.