On Sept. 3, Siemens Road and City Mobility announced the launch of its Mobility IDEA (Improving Design and Engineering for All) Contest, an initiative to find innovative ideas to help solve five of the toughest challenges facing the traffic industry. Contest winners will be invited to participate in a product prototyping workshop with Siemens technology experts. Siemens will also reward the top three universities by number of submissions with a traffic control software grant worth $150,000 to help train future traffic engineers.
Using the IDEA Contest website, powered by Mindjet’s SpigitEngage platform, members of the general public, including university students will be asked to submit ideas for one of five scenarios that address a specific challenge faced by the traffic industry.
The scenarios are:
- Connected Everything: How can you leverage the growth of “connected” technologies to improve the transportation experience?
- Disaster Response and Resilience: How can advanced traffic management help mitigate the impact of a disaster or extreme weather event?
- Green Mobility: What traffic technologies can best improve your city’s CO2 footprint?
- Downtown Growth: How can intelligent traffic technologies manage the growing population in downtown areas?
- Parking Nightmare: With an average of 30 percent of downtown traffic attributed to people looking for parking, what technologies can increase parking availability and get users off of the road quickly?
“According to recent statistics compiled by Nationwide Insurance, the average urban commuter is stuck in traffic an estimated 34 hours every year and we waste 1.9 billion gallons of fuel. The only way we’ll see a significant reduction in congestion and fuel consumption is to develop technologies that make our traffic systems more efficient,” said Ben Collar, head of U.S. Research & Development for Siemens Road and City Mobility. “Innovation is Siemens lifeblood, but we also understand that sometimes the best ideas don’t always happen inside our own walls. Technology is best cultivated when we can gather ideas from the bright minds of today and encourage the brilliant engineers of tomorrow to help improve our traffic systems with intelligent software.”
The contest will be open from Sept. 3 through Nov. 16, with finalists announced Dec. 12. Ideas can be submitted through the IDEA Contest website. On the online portal, users can contribute new ideas, improve on current submissions by incorporating live feedback, comment and vote on other submissions, and use social media to share ideas. Once the contest has closed, submissions will be evaluated by a jury of traffic industry experts and winners will be notified directly. All submissions are eligible for top prizes.
Individuals interested in learning more about the contest can visit Siemens at this year’s ITS World Congress event in Detroit on Sept. 8-11. Conference attendees can discuss their innovative ideas with Siemens experts and submit ideas directly at Siemens booth #2001. The first 50 registered users that submit an idea to the Mobility IDEA Contest during the ITS World Congress event will win a licence of Mindjet’s mind mapping software, MindManager, for brainstorming ideas, visually planning projects and presenting information. This prize is worth $349 per licence.