From the City of Melbourne:

Fleets of driverless shuttle buses could one day run on Melbourne’s streets and car-pooling apps help parents reduce the burden of getting kids to school and sport, under innovative proposals to cut transport congestion across Melbourne.

The solutions have been submitted as part of the Resilient Melbourne Citymart Challenge, which invites problem solvers and creative thinkers from across the globe to find ways to lessen transport congestion in Melbourne and limit the social isolation it causes.

City of Melbourne Environment Portfolio Chair Councillor Cathy Oke urged innovators to submit their ideas on how to make travelling across Melbourne more enjoyable and environmentally friendly.

“We’re looking for creative solutions to the problems of increased travel times and crowded transport systems. Tackling these problems will help Melbourne grow and strengthen our communities in the future,” Cr Oke said.

“Whether it’s a local project or a metropolitan solution, we want to ideas which use the city’s existing infrastructure to improve, revitalise or change the way we travel.”

The challenge opened in March and submissions are open until June 23.

Resilient Melbourne has received 111 registrations from private individuals, start-ups and international companies. Around 80 per cent of the registrations come from Australia and 20 per cent from abroad including France, Colombia, Malta and India.

There are 28 completed submissions, which span ridesharing technologies, smart traffic signalling, traffic data visualisation, driverless vehicles and public art projects. Submitters include:

French tech firm Navya, which makes autonomous, electric shuttle buses with zero emissions, have operated for 10 years and see autonomous vehicles as the most relevant answer to the population and transport challenges of world cities.
Melbourne-based car-pooling app Parachuute which helps parents manage their kids’ transport needs by forming trusted networks of friend who can transport their kids to school and other activities. Parents exchange points for favours to ensure the system is fair.
City of Melbourne Transport Portfolio Chair Nicolas Frances Gilley said the challenge would support Melbourne’s position as a leader in providing innovative transport solutions within the city.

“This challenge will help us identify new ways to help people move around our city and create a greater sense of community cohesion,” Cr Frances Gilley said.

A Challenge Panel including leaders from Victorian State Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, RMIT University, Infrastructure Victoria, VicRoads, RACV, Foundation for Young Australians, Committee for Melbourne, Public Transport Victoria, University of Melbourne and the City of Melbourne’s Smart City Office will assess the entries.

This Panel will select the best idea and work with the winner to explore ways to implement their solution.

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