Four finalists have been selected in the “Driverless Future Challenge,” which invited teams from around the world to help New York City plan for autonomous transportation
To ensure that New York City takes full advantage of the benefits of autonomous transportation — rather than let it unfold haphazardly with no accommodations and restrictions — Blank Space partnered with the City of New York to solicit actionable solutions for a driverless future in one of the most complex cities in the world.
Entries from more than 25 countries proposed everything from driverless food carts and a fully-autonomous MTA transit system, to enhanced use of NYC’s 311 system as a driverless dispatching center, and Link NYC Wifi stations that become stops for autonomous micro-busses.
“The Driverless Future Challenge specifically set out to uncover the impact of autonomous vehicle technology as viewed through the Mayor’s four distinct lenses under the OneNYC initiative: Growth, Equity, Sustainability, and Resilience” said Matthew Hoffman, Cofounder of Blank Space. “The entries expanded far beyond traditional transportation concerns to find positive impact for all New Yorkers in a myriad of ways.”
Four finalists have been selected by representatives from Mercedes-Benz, IDEO, Volvo, NYC government agencies and more. The jury selected the following four finalists in no particular order:
“Public Square” by FXFOWLE Architects with Sam Schwartz Engineering. FXFOWLE is an architecture and urban design firm based in New York and working to improve cities everywhere. FXFOWLE believes in the power of collaborative design and innovation to transform our lives for the better. Sam Schwartz Engineering lives and breathes traffic and transportation, offering comprehensive planning, engineering and design services to public and private sector clients worldwide. “The competition inspired great discussions in our office. We came up with many compelling ideas and struggled to pick just one. Then we realized our ideas all revolved around reclaiming vehicular space to create new public space. Ultimately what the City needed was something that would enable lots of different kinds of transformations, and could be flexible depending on how the future of autonomous vehicles unfolds. Public Square was the answer: simple, adaptable, scalable, and at the same time, completely transformative.”
- Public Square Team
“Urban Oasis” by Lily Shi, Yodai Yasunaga & Jiaming Zhang. Lily, Yodai, and Jiaming are recent graduates of Cornell University with a degree in Design and Environmental Analysis. They share a passion in improving people’s lives through human-centered designs that utilize strategy and technology. “In the beginning, we were uncertain about the morality of the autonomous car technology and its impact on society. It was only after we realized that 'driverless' doesn’t have to mean 'human-less', our ideas started flowing. Instead of getting rid of people, we wanted driverless cars to be a catalyst for human interaction. With Urban Oasis, it’s not about the cars, but the people that interact with them.”
- Urban Oasis Team
“QueueY” by Daniel Hui, Danil Nagy & Spencer Wright. QueueY brings together a diverse team of designers, researchers, and fabricators focused on envisioning new technologies to make the city a better place. Based in New York City, the team members have strategic experience spanning the fields of manufacturing, aerospace, automotive, software, architecture and urban planning. “We're passionate about cities - we envision a future where autonomous vehicles integrate with a robust transit system. The growth of autonomous vehicles presents inevitable challenges to our shared public streets and sidewalks. Through the Driverless Future Competition, we combined design and technology to turn this challenge into an opportunity for New York City. Our proposal transforms the city’s curbs into intelligent interfaces between people and their autonomous transportation, ensuring that this new technology will be a benefit to all of New York’s residents.”
- QueueY Team
“sAVe” by IBI Group, a globally integrated architecture, planning, engineering, and technology firm. The IBI Group TH!NK team led the design and includes a diverse group of individuals from New York City and beyond. “As young residents of New York City we see driverless cars as an opportunity to resolve one of the cities’ growing problems: choosing between affordability and ease of transportation when finding a place to call Home. sAVe provides an immediate solution for this concern and we will utilize the New Lab to develop the app for city-wide use. Ours is a citizen-centered solution that links the positive benefits of new AV technology to demonstrate what can be done for the citizens of New York and beyond.”
- IBI TH!NK Team
The WAN Awards Future Projects category is open to enter until the extended deadline: 6th July.
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