Sidewalk Labs, a subsidiary of Google parent Alphabet, has joined with the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) to create Flow, the nation’s first platform that is designed to transform the outcomes of transportation with citizen engagement and analytics.
Flow would provide unprecedented city-wide transportation analytics to assist cities in identifying underserved areas and resolving congestion. The system would use anonymized, aggregated data gathered from billions of miles traveled. With consumer mobility apps, the transportation innovation can engage citizens from any location.
Additionally, Sidewalk Labs plans to install more than 100 kiosks throughout four neighborhoods scattered along 25 blocks of the city that wins the competition. These kiosks offer free Wi-Fi. They will also serve as access points for citizens who cannot afford mobility information in any other way.
The Smart City Challenge is a competition that seeks to help a single, mid-sized U.S. city to develop its own first-of-its-kind, full integrated transportation network. This network would implement technology, data, and innovation to change how goods and people transport.
Each of the competition finalists will gain $100,000 to create their vision, such as expanding proposals and submitting budgets. USDOT intends to take three months to collaborate with each of the cities to create their proposals and continue developing roadmaps.
Now USDOT is beginning its second phase of the competition, during which it focuses on innovation and technology that can connect opportunities with people.