CDOT launches $500k Bicycle, Pedestrian Challenge

pic-for-roadxDo you think you can design a better transportation system? Do you have great ideas for moving pedestrians and cyclists more safely? If so, the Colorado Department of Transportation wants to hear from you. You could win thousands of dollars simply by offering a great idea or for providing and executing a concrete plan of action.

The RoadX Bicycle and Pedestrian Challenge is an endeavor to utilize innovative technology to improve the state’s transportation system and ultimately do a better job protecting bicyclists and pedestrians. RoadX is a partnership with the Colorado Innovation Network’s Imagine Colorado, the nation’s first statewide open innovation challenge platform created to spark new ideas.

Improving the safety of bicyclists and pedestrians is an important piece of CDOT’s goal of Moving Towards Zero Deaths. Bicyclist crashes represent 2 percent of all fatalities and 4 percent of all serious injuries in Colorado. Pedestrian crashes represent 10 percent of all fatalities and 7 percent of all serious injuries in the state. Whether biking or walking for commuting or for recreational purposes, bicycling and walking help improve health, preserve and enhance Colorado’s environment and increase mobility options. While many may look at the advent of self-driving and connected vehicles as a critical strategy to achieving zero deaths, CDOT strongly believes that technological innovation can and should also protect bicyclists and pedestrians.

A total of $500,000 will be awarded–$50,000 for the best ideas and the rest will go toward development of actionable concepts. The RoadX Challenge seeks input from entrepreneurs, idea makers, communities and others, and is divided into two tracks:

Track One, Idea-thon:

  • Submit a groundbreaking technological idea to improve bicycling and pedestrian safety
  • Up to five winners will be chosen with a prize of $10,000 each

Track Two, Do-athon:

  • Submit a unique and implementable idea and deploy the technology to make it happen within eight months
  • Up to five finalists will be chosen and each will receive $75,000 to build a proof of concept
  • The team that deploys the best working technology over eight months will receive $150,000 to continue the program. The runner up will receive $50,000 and third place will receive $25,000

The call for proposals is now open; all entries must be submitted through Imagine Colorado.  Proposals may be submitted in English or Spanish and are due February 27, 2017. The challenge is open to all Coloradans over the age of 18 who want to submit ideas either individually or in teams. Finalists will be selected on March 31, 2017.

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