Colorado, Minnesota, and Wyoming launch rural road challenge
Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper and the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) announced that they are working with the states of Minnesota and Wyoming to launch the RoadX Rural Road Safety Challenge, a three-track, multi-year, up to $15,000 cash prize competition that encourages problem solvers to address rural transportation safety issues. The challenge is open to anyone 18 years and older living in the U.S.
Three contributing factors make rural roads particularly hazardous: sharp turns, soft shoulders, and wildlife collisions. Of these factors, wildlife encounters can be the deadliest. Along a stretch of rural highway in western Colorado, 66% of vehicular deaths over the last five years have involved wildlife—that's much higher than the national average. These wrecks are also costly; the U.S. insurance industry annually pays out nearly $1.8 billion in claims for all wildlife-vehicle collisions, and the average property damage cost of animal-vehicle collisions is estimated at $4000.
To address these crashes, the first track of the three-track RoadX Rural Safety Challenge will focus on wildlife vehicle collisions.
Amy Ford, Chief of Advanced Mobility, CDOT, said, "The goal is to solicit innovative technical solutions, even innovative technical solutions that will interact with the future of transportation such as self-driving cars. And we aren't just looking for great ideas; we're looking for actionable concepts that can be implemented nationwide."
About the Rural Road Safety Wildlife Vehicle Collision (WVC) Challenge:
- The Rural Road Safety WVC Challenge opened on September 28, 2018.
- The Rural Road Safety WVC Challenge deadline for entries is January 31, 2019.
- Anyone over the age of 18 can submit their ideas, as an individual or as part of team, classroom, company, or community in English or Spanish.
- The idea must be a comprehensive and implementable concept that solves the unique problem defined on the submission form.
- Cash prize of $15,000 for initial concept implementation; an additional $5000 for each additional implementation in the field.
All entries must be submitted through CDOT via www.roadxchallenge.com. Proposals are due January 31, 2019. Finalists will be selected in February 2019.