OREANDA-NEWS. September 16, 2016. San Francisco is using the momentum from its failed Smart City Challenge bid to carry on developing smart transportation initiatives.

According to the University of California, Berkeley website, the school is continuing its smart city collaboration with the city of San Francisco.

This collaboration was initially established for the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Smart City Challenge which Columbus, Ohio won this summer. Columbus city leaders have said that they plan to spend some of their \\$50 million winnings from the Smart City Challenge to develop an autonomous “truck platoon” capable of driving in urban areas.

Back in San Francisco, Mayor Ed Lee and UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).  The agreement commits the organizations to further explore opportunities to collaborate on urban transportation innovations and other technology to improve the life for citizens.

“This MOU will create new opportunities to partner with industry on transportation and sustainability problems facing the Bay Area and positions UC Berkeley and San Francisco to jointly research and develop the solutions,” said UC Berkeley Industry Alliances Office associate director Lynne Hollyer.

The agreement ensures the continuing development of ideas included in the Smart Cities Challenge pitch that were focused on turning San Francisco into a smart transit city.

San Francisco launched a smart transit hackathon

In conjunction with the renewed interest in the initiative, city and university officials helped kick off a hackathon focused on smart transit. The hackathon was focused on sparking innovations on how shared connected cars and automated electric vehicles will improve how goods and people circulate around the city.

“Bringing together a diverse group of people to look at how goods and people will move as transportation technology and services advance and hearing their solutions was a wonderful experience,” said UC Berkeley’s Transportation Sustainability Research Center co-director Susan Shaheen. “The excitement and passion in the room was very encouraging.”

She felt that the continuing collaboration with the university and the city will develop similar projects like the hackathon which “showcase the city as a vibrant, innovative and sustainable community.”

The hackathon was sponsored by Microsoft, Siemens, the International Association of Transportation Regulators and car2go.