Blank Space has revealed the four finalists for 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," commented 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."
Public Square by FXFOWLE Architects with Sam Schwartz Engineering
"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
"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
"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
"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 finalists will present at the "Pitch The City" event, which will be held during a special edition of the monthly NY Tech Meetup (NYTM) event on July 11 at 7PM EST at NYU's Skirball Center. The winner of the challenge will be selected live at the event by a panel of NYC Government Officials from the Mayor's Office, the Economic Development Corporation, the Department of Transportation, the Taxi and Limousine Commission, the Department of City Planning, and a representative from New Lab, NYC's preeminent technology and manufacturing hub.
"One thing is evident from the Driverless Future Challenge - cities must prepare immediately," said Francesca Giuliani, Cofounder of Blank Space. "The entries in the competitions are smart, actionable, and ready to actively redefine the city."
The finalists will go on to work at New Lab to make their proposals a reality for the City of New York. Each team will receive access to workspace and state-of-the-art fabrication facilities at New Lab, in the Brooklyn Navy Yard.