- The Denver City Council approved a four-year, $12 million smart technology program that will lay the groundwork for a full-fledged smart network, according to The Denver Post and others.
- The program — aimed at improving pedestrian safety, traffic congestion and freight truck travel — involves installing IoT technology to connect traffic signals, pavement and signs with vehicles. The system would provide real-time information and feedback to improve traffic flow.
- The project is funded through $6 million in federal grants and an equal funding match from the city.
The framework for this connected vehicles and streets program can be found in Denver's 2016 proposal for the federal Smart City Challenge program. Denver was one of the finalists but Columbus, OH ultimately won the $50 million grant to implement its smart city proposal. Denver has resurrected its original concept and secured some funding to move ahead with installing the IoT technology.
Population growth has been explosive in Denver over the past decade, which helped bump Colorado to the 8th fastest growing state in the country last year. The rapid growth has brought typical problems such as a lack of housing inventory, rising housing costs and traffic congestion. Denver and surrounding areas have been scrambling to keep up with the infrastructure necessary to accommodate the growth.
Implementing this smart technology program could help the city get a handle on its increasing traffic congestion while also preparing for an influx of connected vehicles. Adding pedestrian detection systems at key intersections will also improve pedestrian safety, which can often be compromised when an area experiences an influx of citizens and cars.
This program has received approval as Denver is working on other concepts to improve transportation and mobility, such as testing a driverless shuttle to improve first mile/last mile connections and a partnership to develop a hyperloop.