City puts future of transportation on display today at Smart City Tech Expo

Posted by on May 16th, 2016 at 10:11 am

Detail from PBOT event flyer for today's event.

Detail from the event flyer.
(Image: City of Portland)

Today at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry the City of Portland will give the public a glimpse of how they’re competing for a chance to win the $40 million Smart City Challenge grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Portland is one of seven finalist cities vying for the prize. Today’s event is a precursor to a visit later this week from DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx.

At OMSI today from 11:00 to 2:00 the Bureau of Transportation and private consulting firm DKS Associates are hosting the Smart City Tech Expo. Here’s more about the event from PBOT:

“The expo will showcase the technology, partnerships and innovation going into Portland’s bid as a finalist for the $40 million Smart City Challenge. Prototypes of connected vehicles, electric vehicles, demonstrations of mobile apps, and videos of other cutting edge technology will be available for viewing and hands-on learning…


BIKETOWN open for demos! (Photo: City of Portland)

BIKETOWN open for demos!
(Photo: City of Portland)

Members of the news media will be able to test drive a BMW with Connected Signals Enlighten technology that provides drivers will real-time signal information. They will be able to test drive electric bikes and scooters from GenZe. They will be able to see electric vehicles from They can demo a number of apps, including: the Ride Report app; Portland Public School’s Safe Routes to School app to crowd source concerns and ideas to improve student walks to school; moovel’s software development kit (SDK) called ‘RideTap’ that integrates alternative transportation options such as Lyft and Car2Go into the TriMet Tickets app; and the NoAppFee, a housing app that integrates transportation costs to give users a true-cost of housing. They will have the opportunity to see HERE’s location and mapping technology that supports the commercial path to autonomous cars. Members of the media will also be able to view and film the technology behind the latest generation of TriMet hybrid busses. They will be able to see advanced signal technology from Econolite Group, Inc.”

Also on hand (until about 12:30) will be an active demo of Portland’s BIKETOWN Bike Share system. Everyone is welcome to roll over and take one out for a spin.

Details on Secretary Foxx’s visit to Portland on Wednesday have yet to be shared publicly. He’ll be in town as part of a tour of all seven finalists in the Smart City Challenge. Stay tuned for more coverage and see our backgrounder on PBOT’s “ubiquitous mobility” pitch here.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 –

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HaraldethanChadwick FSpiffyRJ Recent comment authors
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That even poster looks awfully auto centric. Is that an ideal road to showcase the future in their minds?


Hmmm — nine-lane cross-section, check. No bike facilities, check. Narrow, curb-tight sidewalk, check. Surface parking lots at the corners, check. Looks pretty “smart” to me!


On top of that, the markings on the crosswalks don’t go all the way across, the sidewalks and driveways appear to be made of different materials that force people on the sidewalk to go over curbs, and it appears that one of the sidewalks is completely removed once it gets to the parking lot.

That’s not the future I want to live in! Actually, it looks starkly like the past, but with more fancy gadgets.


Well, probably not terribly surprising, given that the original image is coming from GM:

Matt S.
Matt S.

The future: electric cars, electric bikes…


autonomous ones…

Chadwick F
Chadwick F