Bloomberg Philanthropies 2018 Mayors Challenge
Lincoln is one of 35 Champion Cities selected by Bloomberg Philanthropies as finalists in the 2018 Mayors Challenge, a nationwide competition that encourages City leaders to develop bold, inventive ideas to confront City challenges.
The City’s vision of one day conducting an on-demand autonomous shuttle pilot project earned the support of this national organization, which awarded Lincoln $100,000 to test the idea with transit stakeholders and the public.
Lincoln has advanced to the six-month "Test, Learn and Adapt" phase of the idea competition. Each finalist received up to $100,000 to refine the ideas and develop a public prototype or concept. The cities will receive support from innovation experts to test and begin building support for their designs.
The grant funds allowed the City to borrow a Navya electric shuttle for a short demonstration and research project. As part of this research, Lincoln residents were invited to ride a test shuttle and provide their perspective on safety, need, shuttle operation and features.
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To compete for the next level of grant funding, the City must obtain feedback from at least 90 stakeholder groups, as well as members of the public. The findings will inform future plans and designs of any longer-term autonomous shuttle services.
Lincoln has been working with Bloomberg Philanthropies since February, and the finalist cities will submit new applications in August 2018. In October, four cities will receive $1 million awards and one will receive a grand prize of $5 million to bring their ideas to life.
If Lincoln's demo is successful and additional funding is received, four to six autonomous shuttles could travel a fixed route in downtown Lincoln for a few months in 2019. More information on the vision of this pilot project can be found under Project Goals.