The Driverless Future challenge seeks proposals that actively shape NYC’s response to driverless technology - will offer resources to help finalists transform their proposals into real companies and products.
Blank Space is proud to announce the Driverless Future challenge, a global competition to shape the impact of autonomous transportation in NYC, with a prize purse worth over $60,000 for the 4 top teams. The focus of the challenge is not on the cars themselves, but everything else: from parking solutions, to mass transit, accessibility, shipping, logistics, software, services, and new uses of roadways, intersections, and sidewalks. The primary goal is to create a launchpad for entrepreneurs, innovators, designers, engineers, architects and futurists to enact real change in New York City.
Blank Space is proud to partner with the NYC Mayor’s Office, New Lab, Fast Company, and AIA New York to host the challenge and support winning entries beyond the challenge. Blank Space is joined by the NYC government agencies that are grappling with autonomous transportation the most: the Department of Transportation (DOT), Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC), and Economic Development Corporation (EDC).
"As we prepare for the next evolution in automobiles —a driverless future—we have a unique opportunity and a responsibility today to shape its impact on New York City Communities," said Miguel Gamiño, Chief Technology Officer for the City of New York. "Autonomous vehicles—like any truly disruptive technology—carry great potential and also risk. Our challenge is to ensure that this driverless future translates to a more sustainable, resilient and equitable future."
Participants are free to select any facet of driverless technology, from zoomed-out city-scale solutions, to small interventions within the urban fabric, and submit 3-minute “pitch” videos of their schemes, along with 3 images and a short narrative. The only requirements are that proposals are actionable and use New York City as their canvas. Blank Space and its partners will help the winning entries turn their proposals into real companies and products by offering a cash prize, access to workspace and fabrication facilities at New Lab, and a chance to pitch their proposals to NYC Commissioners.
“Autonomous cars are coming. That’s inescapable. New York City isn’t merely accepting what’s coming and adapting to it; it is encouraging you, as designers, engineers, innovators, architects and urbanists, to meet the extreme challenges of a large-scale, complex urban machine with even more advanced thinking,” say Blank Space founders Matthew Hoffman and Francesca Giuliani. “We invite participants to submit their ideas and actively shape the future of one of the most complex cities in the world.”
The challenge will be capped with the “Pitch The City” event in June 2017 (official date to be announced shortly), in New York City. Four finalist teams will be invited to New York to pitch their proposal to a panel of prominent New York City government officials from the Mayor’s Office, DOT, EDC and TLC, and a live audience. This is a chance to present to the individuals and organizations that can help make the proposals a reality. All participants will be invited to attend the event and the winner of the challenge will be announced live at the event.
“New Lab was built to support people doing ambitious work in advanced technologies in New York City, and we are pleased to provide our space and resources—including our on-site product realization labs—to the forward-thinking finalists of this challenge,” says Dunia Dupont, COO of New Lab. “The Urban Tech Hub at New Lab, our collaboration with the EDC, is a program where entrepreneurs and cities can work together to develop and deploy technology that addresses pressing urban challenges. This challenge represents an opportunity to do just that.”
Participants can register for a $50 Early Bird Discount until March 3rd. Following that, Regular Registration ($70) will be open until April 6th, and Late Registration ($90) until the Submission Deadline on May 19th, 2017. Registration is free for all NYC Public School students and IDNYC card holders. All registrants in the competition will receive a 1-year subscription to Fast Company magazine free of charge.
"Autonomous transportation introduces a vast array of challenges and opportunities, but one thing can be agreed upon — cities must prepare immediately," says Benjamin Prosky, Executive Director at AIA New York and the Center for Architecture. "At AIANY we're committed to finding new opportunities for our 5,000+ members to enact positive change in New York City and beyond. The Driverless Future challenge promotes new methods of practicing architecture and design, but the mission remains: to leverage design to dramatically improve the quality of the built environment."
To register for the Driverless Future challenge and for more detailed information, please visit: driverlessfuture.nyc
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