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Smart City Challenge Information Session 6 Transcript

The Connection Between Beyond Traffic and the Smart City Challenge


Welcome and thank you for joining us. You have been sharing where you are from across the country. We have folks from the West, the middle of the country, my hometown of Pittsburgh, many other cities across the country. We are very excited that you have joined us. To look at the undergird of Beyond Traffic. Beyond Traffic was really the central pushing point for looking at the future of our transportation system and what the trends are facing our nation. For we get into Beyond Traffic , [Name unknown] and [Name unknown] we want to make sure most of you have heard about that challenge and know about it. Just so we are on the same page. We are aiming to encourage cities to put forward their best and most creative thoughts forward. This is not a prescriptive challenge. It is about cities telling us how we get creative and innovative moving forward. What works for your city. And how emerging data in technologies and applications can be integrated with existing systems. You're going to be hearing about the court trends. So thinking about this challenge in relationship to those trends around how we move, how we move better, -- we want to really use the challenge to demonstrate how data and IT S can be use to reduce congestion and enhance safety protect the environment, connect underserved communities, and support economic vitality. So again, be thinking about that. Most of you know we are in the middle of everyone doing their application that is why we are so excited that so many of you are online. The deadline is February 4. The first round will result in five cities getting $100,000 to develop a more fully ached proposal. -- Baked proposal. Shortly after that we will release a phase 2 for those five cities. It will result in one city getting $40 million from the Department of Transportation. An opportunity to work with the Vulcan Inc. on another $10 million. And another opportunity to work with mobile I for the installation of their technology. You have to play in the first round to get to the second round and the eligible cities for the second LB the five finalists. We plan on announcing those in mid-March. When you look at this, if you think about logic models, we have some inputs what are connected vehicles in our nation, and the Internet of things and machine learning and data, mobility other man, but we want to get to is the outcome which are the benefits to your community and residents. Huge improvements in safety. Really focusing on reduce congestion. Reducing emissions and fossil fuels. Improved access to jobs and services. Improving the connectivity that did not exist. The accessibility and mobility of your communities is central. And reducing costs for government and streamlining. Thinking about your inputs and outputs relative to the Smart City Challenge, we recognize that every city has unique attributes and that each city proposal will be tailored to your own vision. Is not meant to be prescriptive. But again, the primary focus is for a smart city to identify an urbanized area were advanced technologies are integrated into the aspects of the city and play a critical role in helping cities and their citizens address the challenges in safety, mobility, sustainability, economic vitality and climate change. There are 12 vision moments. I will touch on these. As you are thinking about the trends that you are thinking about how do these vision elements lend themselves to this trend for the future of our nation in your city.


As Bryna Helfer mentioned the department has laid out 12 vision elements. We have grouped these into orders of priority. Technology elements we see as the highest priority. At these include automation, connected vehicles, intelligent center-based if a structure. If you'd like to learn more about connected vehicles, there will be another information session next week on the 21st at noon specifically about dedicated communications. We are also interested in hearing city ideas for innovative approaches to urban transportation elements. There are number of aspects to this. There's user focused, delivery logistics, thinking about moving freight more intelligently, and how so we can get more involved with organizations to partner to develop these technologies. In addition, smart grid and roadway and electric vehicles. And finally figuring out how to get citizens involved in using the data that will be produced by this demonstration product to develop new applications and new businesses even, thanks to the implementation of these technologies. Finally we ask you to think about other smart city elements they can do great. How can I integrate new architectures of standards that will be adopted on moving forward. How can they develop low-cost efficiency care and resilient ICT, and how can they use land? We encourage you to think about these vision elements and how they can be integrated into your proposal. With that, I am excited to introduce Vinh white.


A note to our technical folk's. Please make them the presenter. We will now put up a new set of slides. If you have questions or comments or thoughts, or things you want to share, resources, we hope you'll use the chat box in the bottom order.


Good afternoon. Think you Bryna Helfer -- thank you for the introduction. My name is Vinn white. If you have seen me pass through on my travels or if you have sat through this presentation previously, this is going to be great for reinforcing the backdrop for why we are doing a lot of this work on the technology innovation field data and a lot of what we are thinking with regards to the Smart City Challenge. Just a backup, for anyone who might not be aware of the report that the secretary put out, this is about two years in the making. When the secretary first arrived at DOT he met with one of his predecessors from the Ford administration who put a bug in his ear to tell him about how he was really proud of this forward-looking forecasting document related to the future of our transportation system. The difference in that exercise and the exercise we undertook was that was in the closing days of the administration back in the 1970s. This was almost days after the secretary arrived. He decided, I want to do something bold and similar, something that does not look at the first few weeks or months or what we have left in the administration, I want to look at the system forecasted over multiple decades. He pulled resources from all corners of the DOT University think on this. We work together on our end to devise a draft report that was released almost one year ago in February. I emphasize draft because he really wanted it to be a document, not just to put our heads together and be a message that comes from a national perspective, did not want to put at eight report, he wanted to involve thoughts and input from the community's. From those outside of the Beltway. From organizations to transportation entities. We put ourselves together through this process and over the last year or so we have been engaging the public health online, formally or in person, we have done a lot of travels, held and 11 city may get region to her. We think we are getting it right. We are making the perfect pie. We started with all the ingredients and key things but now we have had a chance to take it out of the oven, let the public try it and tell us what it needs to make it a perfect pie. That is where we are now. With that backdrop, Beyond Traffic looks at five key trends. Before we get into those, I would like to talk about mega reasons.


We have a number of folks that have been to some of the mega region sessions. Sorry, can you give the control back to me? Vinn is having a bit of a technical problem.


We forget to the slide, the idea is that depending on who you ask, anywhere between 9 and 11 we call mega-region exist throughout the country. These mega-region comprise 75% of Americans. We do have a graphic to show. But it really is the idea that mega-region are clusters of urban areas held together by social relationships by economic alignment and by infrastructure. We like to highlight this because as we grow, into a nation of almost 400,000,000 people in 30 years a lot of these people are going to live in these mega-regions. They will be living on top of one another. I like to call the conversation the sleeping giant because one day I think we are going to wake up and wonder how I got so crowded and congested. With that moving to the next slide, it has to do with the conversation on population growth. It is estimated that over the next 30 years we will grow significantly. We will add nearly 70,000,000 new Americans from now until 2045. For those who do not know how to think about numbers, it really is like taking Texas, New York and Florida and adding them all together. What I say is it is not Miami, Houston, and Manhattan, it is the entire states of New York, Texas and Florida. Where are they going to live? How are they going to get around? One other fact we supply in the report has to do with congestion. I mentioned it before, congestion today on average, Americans spend roughly 40 hours per year in their car. Stuck in traffic. That is ridiculous. That would be the equivalent of spending an entire week's vacation in your car. And for some that is okay. That is a lot. And that is a lot to deal with. That is on average. In places like San Francisco, New York, Washington DC, LA, it is almost double or more than double. Up to 80 hours. We also talk about what does this population look like? We talked about recently how the baby boomers were the biggest generation around. Today there are more millennial's there are baby boomers. It will have a cascading effect. The next thing to think about is how is this next generation, both of these generations together, are they going to want to live?


We have slides


We're talking about population growth. Where millennial's want to live. We're also going to have aging Americans to. -- Also. I gather a lot of them are going to want to age in place. Does that mean for the transportation choices we have? For the investments are going to make? For how we want to move forward? I will touch more on what you see here on the graphic on income inequality. Transportation is the second-highest expense to Americans behind housing. In some places it is higher. There is this growing conversation on the growing wealth gap, income inequality, and how can transportation help alleviate some of that. How we move? It's about how 70 million Americans are almost -- are going to get their stuff. We have a vast an incredible freight network. It is designed to get everything everyone needs across the country. It is broken down into many modes. Freight, 54,000,000 tons of straight move across our nation everything will be. That said. -- There are pinch points. Can take freight roughly 35-40 days to move from one place to another. But it can also sit in the greater Chicago region for 25-28 of those days. Just trying to navigate across the country. It also contribute to congestion. There is a waste associated with that congestion. Wasted time and fuel alone for trucking is costing $27 billion per year. By 2045 freight volume, how much of it, is going to grow by 29,000,000,000 tons increasing 45-50% over that.. Are we going to alleviate some of what we are going to talk about? What are going to be the big solutions. Technology, innovation, data, leveraging this to improve our outcomes. To provide solutions, and as we have seen in transportation, whether it's surface, over the last 50 years 80%, there has been an 80% decrease in fatalities. When you think how Carson been equipped over that period, it is incredible to see that number. What is more astounding is how connected and automating -- automate -- automated vehicles could improve on the number. Reducing 81% of crashes involving an impaired drivers. It's not just surface. We have a little story of next-generation aviation technology that will get planes in the air and keep them in the air and improve the efficiency over periods well cutting our carbon footprint. We have talked about this, it is permeating almost every form of transportation to date. There is all this data, how much of it is valuable, what is useful, what are the touch points, I have done this roadshow before, particularly with students and if I ask students, when it comes to data, when it comes to having your device, your cell phone, or having the option to own a car, if you can have one or the other what would it be? It's overwhelming to see the hands go up, they would much rather on their cell phone and own a car. Which is incredible because when I was a kid, and we did not have cell phones, the only thing you ever wanted was a car. Because cars represented independence and expression. That is that what people are doing with their devices. Moving forward, how we adapt. If the climate change discussion. The climate is changing. As I mentioned earlier on transportation, here we are talking about it differently in terms of greenhouse gas emissions. It's the second largest emitter of greenhouse gases. Behind electricity. We are working on that. You'll see here in the bottom right how fuel economy standards are improving. Fuel consumption. But still the world is heating. I think we have had 10 or 11 the warmest years on record over the last 15 or so. I heard 2015 was the warmest year on record. Scientists are starting to agree that it exists. We used to talk about once 100 year super storage. -- Storms. But with an 18 month span of time we had to super storms come through. The impact by hurricane Sandy at the system in New York. We have worked putting billions of dollars back into the system, but I don't think it will ever get back to the state of repair from when the storm first hit. We have to rethink how we are going to build these things to a more resilient standard, higher, stronger, -- and specifically how are we going to adapt? We have to -- a lot of that is going to be done through how we align our decisions and dollars. Today we are being asked to do a lot more with less. We are happy that Congress signed a bill authorizing a five-year longer-term pot of funding, that it is still not enough. We need to do is we need to address the bridges when 65% of roads are in less in good condition. When one in every four bridges is in need of significant repair, the Society of engineers has given us a D plus and we were once ate in the world in terms of quality conditions. Back in 2008. How we do this, how we make the decisions, at the local level, that is what we talk about in the decisions and dollars chapter. I mentioned that we have spent a lot of time touring the country, reaching out to groups, communities and organizations to get feedback because we want to make the perfect pie. We want to know what is missing. When we take this on the road. One of the areas that we anticipate resulting in a new trend chapter has to do with equity and the opportunity. Earlier I talked about the cost of transportation and how it is number two behind housing and some of the other numbers here are astounding. 80 people in the world have as much wealth as 3.5 billion people. We have seen this middle-class shrinking click --. We have seen the highest percentage of wealth increase over the last 30 years. While the lowest end of poverty have grown those numbers. We're thinking a lot more on income inequality -- inequality and how transportation can be the literal bridge from getting distressed communities to the job centers. We understand that our role, the department's role is really key. It is critical to moving the conversation forward to addressing the issues. Also, workforce development and transportation, there will be a loss in jobs in the transportation sector, there will be a lot of openings over the coming years. You'll see some of these numbers to the year 2022. This is also an opportunity for me to talk about the intersection of one trend meeting with another. When we talk about who will be the next line of workforce in transportation, it is a little different than 30 or 40 years ago when they were bus drivers, engineers and mechanics. Today there are computer science behind all of this. There engineers, a lot of math. The notion that technology and innovation will help meet the challenges of tomorrow, it brings -- it brings great true here in the -- it rings true here in the workforce discussion. Will think more on that and how we can build that up in the next iteration of the report. On that note, we hope to finalize it in April of this year. At that time it is going to look a little different. In the meantime aside from the Smart City Challenge if you do want to visit the report, it can be found online. We have an online portal set up so you can peruse it and offer ideas or thoughts the you think are being left out of the conversation. If there is anything you feel needs to be deemphasized or you think we got it wrong, you can submit your ideas here at the website. I think we are set to open it up. If we have any questions, I know Bryna Helfer and I have seen many people from all over. If there are folks of questions, feel free.


Comments and question.


It seems like we have a number of people, many people join from our previous sessions but we have some folks who this is their first time. That is fantastic. We have a broad geographic diversity. Thinking about how you can use the forms of transportation to move more people and more goods in an environment which is limited in terms of how much more can be built. We are here to answer questions. I have one here for Michael, -- Sarah are you on the line? I was wondering if you could take a look at Michael's question.


The judging of the contest and results, they are confidential in terms of the names of people that sit on the panel, they will be federal mental -- members of our federal team, as is the list of cities that apply. 30 want to add anything?


We staff the panels with review from panels from across the department but we don't release the names.


My questions are more, how these trends resonate? What, are these the trends you are seeing? How are you seeing them? What kinds of technologies will be useful? One thing we've been thinking about is partnerships. We have tier 1 partners like Vulcan and Mobileye but we know there are smaller partners you will be working with. How we can facilitate and think about partnerships in that way. Will kind of things are you seeing and what would be helpful? We see all cities in this challenge opportunity being able to advance this work. We hope we will learn from each other. What you see in the chat box?


This is Vinn. I will add that as you go through each chapter, you do start to see a connection as to not just the technology and innovation, at work to alleviate some of these places, but specific initiatives like the Smart City Challenge is really, it can touch on many aspects that we are talking about in the report. Whether the emergence of climate change, or if it is just how are multiple millions of people in city AVC going to get around. I think data will be a big part of that as well. Not so much about the challenge, but I think you can read the report and get a good feel for a backdrop.


One of the things that a couple people are asking, back to the overlay of the Beyond Traffic and what people are looking for in cities , are we expecting people to cover all of them, -- I think it is up to you. What is right for your city at this point in time. We are not defining that for you. You're asking you have to cover everything? It is not intended that every person covers every trend or vision element. But thinking how it works best for you.


I will turn to some of our friends administering the challenge. I see [Name unknown] is asking about if a multifaceted smart transportation strategy is the preference for the challenge? Something more visionary? Or is it something you are looking for more specific application with solutions addressing a particular transportation problem? I think that is hit on here by saying it is all you. These proposals are going to have some balance between your big visionary picture, but it will come down to implementation. And a future element of deployment. And how those deployments are going to receive different aspects, particularly as they relate to reports.


Someone asked a very specific question about freight and railroads. But really it's those partnerships also. I think when you are putting level -- putting together and thinking about the partners you will need to address the issues, if you are successful to be one of the five, and if you are successful being the final smart city Canaday, you're working forward in those partnerships and it will take many players around the city. Data, technology, systems, various transportation players, -- based on what you are thinking about getting done in your city. Will be successful for you.


I think an overused word is synergy. What is being described is what is the synergy surrounding all of these elements. It can be private partnerships with the city, it can be a number of optional aspects that deliver a solution.


Someone is asking about [Indiscernible] vehicles versus connected vehicles. Whoever's controlling the slides, can we go back to the vision element of the slide? Please post the vision element slide in our first presentation. Is not an either or. We are not looking for one or the other. We have captured in this vision element slide these elements. The priorities of these being connected, automation, those are high priorities within this challenge. Although it is not an either or. It is not a must. But clearly we see real opportunity for connecting our nation -- Vinn you want to say more about that?


About the vision elements? [Indiscernible-multiple speakers]


I think the answer is really its local.


That is true. I think one reference I would go back to is the DOT recently awarded a connected vehicles award for $42 million. What you saw there though was that the award was given based off of very different geographic, where you would apply. From Wyoming to Tampa, and New York City. That is not to plant the bug that it is about elected -- connected vehicles, it's about localizing it. And making it so that it is a solution in your cities level. We realize the solutions for New York City are probably not going to be a lot like the solutions for Kansas city. They are different. By all means, you might find application there.


What are other people saying in the chat room?


There is a very interesting discussion underway that I think is that connected vehicles and automated vehicles are not mutually exclusive. Automation can start without it, but I think both of those can be useful approaches. We are not prescribing which of the two or if you should proceed with both. In each city should think about its unique challenges and can connected vehicles and automated vehicles address this quest this? Both are in the highest priority bucket on the vision analysis. Think about how the two elements could be used. Also think about whether you can gain additional benefits by combining them.


And that is great. The plans to release the public -- to the public -- at another we've gotten that far interprocess.


[Indiscernible-multiple speakers] to it is anything more?


We do not have plans to release them. Their procurement sensitive. If the city wants to release its own application to the public they are encouraged welcome to do so. We as a department will not be releasing them.


I am curious, we are interested in where people are spending their energy. We asked us earlier in the chat box, it looks like there is a balance between freight and personal mobility in terms of effort in cities. One thing we heard a lot on the road was that you cannot separate them. We need to stop thinking about moving people and things in separate ways. There may be benefits -- synergy between the systems. One of the most interesting things I heard on the road we were out and about was in Seattle where the cycling community was at the table at the trucking community. They were talking about safety, the use of -- delivery. It was interesting and I encourage people as we think about smart cities how do you build connectivity in that way.


Also out on the road, I won't say where, I had the opportunity to talk with city officials who were [Indiscernible] bus transit technology and when they did that it was with the monitoring the flow of transit intention. They found or other applications. Safety, security, other applications that could build off of the existing investment. I thought that was fascinating you can find multiple applications that way.


Another thing we talked about here, your city CIO and how you are engaging or city CIO. I think there is a lot of underlying data that is used for other systems and it has not necessarily been applied to the transportation system. Am curious in the chat box if you're willing to share how you work with your city CIO and what that looks like, what is that model? We are trying to get our hands around that here. You're interested in learning that. As you think about your own proposal and the challenge, think about if you have not already, link your city CIO. We know here at the department, is a treasure chest. When we get together with her data partners.


I would add through your data partners and your technology partners within city government, also reach out to the local civic technology communities and start up and development communities in your city. They are often really interested and engaged in these issues and can also help you think through and held new applications to work with them, to work together and share data.


I think we are behind on the scroll. And maybe you are seeing some new questions?


We had a question come through about whether secular groups or parties have been thoughtful about what metrics can measure improvements across the trends and how it can move things better?


There are some cities, we have been thinking about, we recently released a tool that has 13 elements that really measures noise, it measures access to health care, it measures distance from the highway of poor communities. Injury rates. Pedestrian injuries, cycling injuries, -- that is worth taking a look at. There is also a housing and transportation tool that looks at the housing and transportation costs, if you're pushing communities way into the suburbs, low income communities, what is the transportation costs. Tipple safety were to live out there, but there is no way to get around. The transportation costs tend to increase by then. Those are important elements to think about. Especially when thinking about connectivity measures and how you do that. There are a couple of places around the country, [Name unknown] which is a national organization released a great tool last year really thinking about connectivity and the measurement. As transportation experts in cities are thinking about the challenge, I would encourage you to reach out to your partners in health and housing and other parts of your community to think about how transportation interfaces with those to get good outcomes is a measurement. I don't know if anyone in the chat box wants to add to that? Or has any thoughts?


Just to double check, is anyone else having issues with the audio works


It sounds like most of you still have audio. I think we're coming to a close on or chat box. All of these sessions, we have been six or seven webinars, we have had an in person for them, they are posted on the Smart city site. Will type it in the chat box. We have a frequently asked Weston list. The team has been amazing and updating questions. The Beyond Traffic slides will be on there after today. The full Beyond Traffic report can be viewed on the website. The trend slides are embedded into the report as well as the 30 page summary called the blue book. A reminder, we have a couple sessions more which are posted on the website. You mentioned one earlier on


On the 21st we're having a session on DS are see. We will also hold an open question and answer session on the 19th at noon. And on the 21st at noon we will do a session on understanding dedicated resource communications.


What is the inbox the people can send questions to?


Smart city challenge Smart city challenge@DOT.gov.


We will leave it open a little longer. Does anyone have any closing thoughts or comments?


No. I would echo Timothy Washington who says this is all great, and good at -- good luck to everyone. Ultimately it will make the world a better place.


We are looking for great proposals in February. Have a great afternoon and thank you for joining us.


That concludes our conference call. Thank you for your participation. You may now disconnect.


[Event Concluded] 

Last updated: Tuesday, January 19, 2016