Today is a day a whole year in the making. The Infrastructure Vision 2050 Challenge, which kicked off in January of 2016 as a three-phase challenge, announces its finalists. In attempt to crowdsource an enormous task, the Build phase of the competition had one serious objective: create a transportation system for the United States that will meet the needs of all users in the year 2050 and beyond. I know what you're thinking: most people struggle with a five-year plan - who could possibly design something for 2050? Well, meet some people whose vision reaches a little farther than most.
The five Build Phase finalists are:
- Jeremy Martinez, Los Angeles, CA – Monorail 2050: Monorail trains that efficiently connect transit hubs hosting retail and residential spaces
- Kevin Lu, Oakland, CA – Beyond Static Pavement: A unique approach that adapts highways to fit 10x more cars for a one percent of the costs
- Peter Muller, Franktown, CO – Transportation Infrastructure Reinvented: A network of lightweight guideways that interconnect small stations, loading/offloading facilities and streets
- Baiyu Chen & Anthony Barrs, Berkeley, CA – Hyperlane: A convergence of two transportation modes: the car and the train
- Micheal Ahimbisibwe, Kampala, Uganda – Direct Drive System: An intelligible road infrastructure concept
“Through the Infrastructure Vision 2050 Challenge, AEM turned to the world’s grassroots innovators for ideas on how we can fix our country’s infrastructure,” said AEM President Dennis Slater. “We want to thank all 42 competitors for their innovative and revolutionary solutions. Infrastructure is an important topic both for the Trump administration and our elected officials, and this Challenge demonstrates that solutions to our infrastructure problems can come from both inside and outside of Washington, DC.”
Now, for the fun part. These five finalists will compete for cash prizes at a live finale in Las Vegas, NV. The "shark tank" style pitch-off will be taking place at the CONEXPO-CON/AGG trade show on March 8, 2017 at 9:30 am. The finalists are to pitch their transportation concepts to a panel of three judges from the field of tech, infrastructure, and building fields. Submissions, as well as proofs of concept, will be on display at the Tech Experience -- an exhibit space highlighting future trends in infrastructure and construction technology.
The Infrastructure Vision 2050 Challenge is part of a larger policy-focused thought-leadership initiative launched by AEM in 2015 to develop a long-term national vision for United States infrastructure.