Introduction

The Connected Vehicle Technology Challenge (the “Challenge”) is an initiative of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).  The Challenge is intended to provide recognition to individuals, teams of individuals, corporations, and nonprofit organizations (collectively, "Contestants") for developing devices, products, services, approaches, solutions, applications, or other operational concepts that use or enhance the value of Dedicated Short-Range Communications (DSRC) technology. The goal of the Challenge is also to engage entrepreneurs, inventors, the public, and students in the pursuit of improving and accelerating the adoption of DSRC technology.

Any elements of the Challenge described in the “details” section of this Challenge posting on challenge.gov are wholly incorporated as part of the rules of this contest.


1. Eligibility

The Challenge is open only to: (1) persons who are at least eighteen (18) years old at the time of entry who are either citizens of the United States, legal residents of the United States, or are non-U.S. citizens who are matriculated and attend a U.S. college or university and can provide proof of educational visa; (2) teams of eligible individuals; and (3) corporations or organizations that are domiciled in the United States (including the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and American Samoa). Individuals submitting on behalf of corporations, nonprofit or groups of individuals (such as an academic class or other team) must meet the eligibility requirements for individual contestants, however each individual team member need not meet every criterion. An individual may join more than one team, corporation or nonprofit organization.  Employees of the U.S. Department of Transportation are not eligible.  The Challenge is subject to all applicable federal laws and regulations. Participation constitutes Contestant's full and unconditional agreement to these Official Rules and administrative decisions, which are final and binding in all matters related to the Challenge. Eligibility for a prize award is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements set forth herein.

 

2. Challenge Submission Period

The Challenge Submission Period begins on January 24, 2011, at 3:45 PM Eastern Standard Time (EST) and ends on May 01, 2011, at 11:59 PM Eastern Daylight Time (EDT). The computer of ChallengePost, which administers this Challenge hosted at challenge.gov, is the official time-keeping device for this Challenge. The public voting period will run from May 02, 2011 through May 31, 2011.

 

3. How to Enter and Submission Requirements

Registration

Go to http://connectedvehicle.challenge.gov and click on the "Sign Up" button in the top right corner.  Registration is free.

 

Submission Format

The Submission must be written in English, and be no longer than 6000 words.  Some or all of the submission must be entered into the “Submission Description” field on the “Post a Submission” section of this Challenge’s site on challenge.gov (the “Site”).

For submissions that are 800 words or fewer, it is recommended that the entirety of the submission be submitted through the “Submission Description” field.

For submissions that are longer than 800 words, it is recommended that an executive summary be prepared and entered into the “Submission Description” field on the “Post a Submission” section of the Site.  This is to facilitate effective Public Voting.  In this case, any additional text should be uploaded through the “Upload a file” function in the “Post a Submission” section of the Site.  Any uploaded document must:

  • not exceed 20 pages in length,
  • be in PDF or Microsoft Word format,
  • use a font size of no less than 11 points, and
  • have margins no smaller than 1 inch all around.

The Submission may include video or images, which may be uploaded using the Image and Video functions in the “Post a Submission” section of the Site.

Regardless of whether text-based submissions are made using the “Submission Description” entry field or the “Submission Zip File” upload function, all documents properly submitted through the “Post a Submission” section of the Site will be judged as parts of the complete Submission, subject to the 6000-word limit.

Submissions may be updated by the submitter until the Challenge Submission Period ends.

 

Submission Content

Submissions will describe a new approach, application, device, product, service, business solution or other operational concept (the “Concept”) that will use or enhance the use of DSRC technology.

The Submission Description will consider the items listed here.

1.  Describe the Concept:

  a.  Describe the user or users

  b.  Explain the Concept’s value to the user and society as a whole

  c.  Describe the conditions under which the Concept is useful

  d.  Describe how the Concept operates, including its interdependencies with its functional environment, such as:

  • transportation infrastructure (traffic signals, dynamic message signs, management centers, etc.),
  • non-transportation infrastructure (for example, cell phone systems)
  • vehicles (for example, on-board sensing equipment)
  • persons other than the user that may interact with the Concept.

  e.  Explain how the Concept relies on the unique characteristics of DSRC, or enhances the use or usefulness of other DSRC devices, services, products, applications or solutions.

  f.  Describe the ways in which the Concept is innovative:  how it differs from past and current practices, technologies, approaches, etc.

2.  Explain the process by which the Concept would be implemented and widely adopted.  Discuss any other risks, costs or challenges in making the utilization and/or adoption of the Concept widespread, and how they could be overcome.

Any images or video submitted should illustrate or otherwise support the Concept described in the Submission Description.

Submissions that do not conform to these requirements may be considered ineligible.  This eligibility decision is at the sole discretion of the U.S. DOT. Contestants waive the right to protest.  The U.S. DOT makes no warranties to protect proprietary information or trade secrets if they are featured in the submission.  It is recommended that entrants consider the content of their submissions prior to making their submittal.

Submissions are made at http://connectedvehicle.challenge.gov using the orange “Post a submission” button.

 

4. Submission Judging

Submissions will be scored in each of four criteria, as listed below.

 

1. Technical and operational feasibility

The successful operation of the proposed Concept will depend both on the soundness of the concept itself and its relationship to the rest of transportation system, which is itself always evolving.  Also, the resources needed to develop the Concept from the idea stage to implementation may be difficult to secure.

How plausible is it that this Concept could be implemented?  What risks or challenges exist, and how could they be overcome?

 

2. Potential for widespread adoption

Widespread adoption of the Concept will depend on a system of interrelated decisions made by the various stakeholders in the transportation network.  Stakeholders’ incentives toward action must be aligned with their capabilities for adoption to occur.

How likely is it that this Concept would be widely adopted, if it were developed?  What are the risks facing broad adoption, and how could they be overcome?

 

3. Innovation

To what degree is this a novel idea?

 

4. Social benefit

How much would this idea benefit travelers or society at large? Emphasis is on improvements to transportation safety, mobility, reliability, accessibility and/or environmental impact.

 

The Submissions will judged by a qualified panel selected by the U.S. DOT at its sole discretion. The panel will judge the entire Submission on the judging criteria identified above in order to select five winners. The judging panel will be finalized by May 01, 2011. Judges have the right to withdraw without advance notice in the event of circumstances beyond their control.

 

5. Display of Submissions and Public Voting

All parts of the Submission will be posted at http://connectedvehicle.challenge.gov/submissions on a rolling basis after being screened by the U.S. DOT for eligibility, relevance, and quality.

The Public Voting will take place between about May 2, 2011 at 12:00 AM EDT and about May 31, 2011 at 11:59 EDT. Public Voting will determine the winner of the popular vote winner award. Each registered visitor will be limited in the amount of votes he or she may submit as part of the voting process.  The U.S. DOT may disqualify the votes and/or submissions of any users or contestants seeking to defraud the voting process.

The top eligible submission, in terms of number of valid votes received, will be awarded the popular vote winner award.

 

6. Verification of Potential Winners

ALL DECISIONS BY THE U.S. DOT ARE FINAL AND BINDING IN ALL MATTERS RELATED TO THE CHALLENGE.

Potential winners must continue to comply with all terms and conditions of these Official Rules, and winning is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements. The potential winners will be notified by email, telephone, or mail after the date of the judging. The potential winners will be required to sign and return to U.S. DOT, within ten (10) days of the date notice is sent, an Affidavit of Eligibility and Liability/Publicity Release (except where prohibited) in order to claim any recognition. In the event that a potential winner of a Challenge recognition is disqualified for any reason, U.S. DOT may award the applicable recognition to an alternate winner who had the highest score remaining of the eligible entries.

 

7. Awards

Six awards will be made:  five will be chosen by the judging panel; the popular vote winner award is the sixth.

Following the announcement of the award, awardees will be honored at the Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) World Congress in Orlando, Florida, which lasts from October 16-20, 2011, in a special session where awardees will present their Concept.  Challenge judges, members of DOT staff, media representatives, and other guests will be invited to attend, in addition to the traditional audience at the ITS World Congress and any additional attendees attracted by the DOT’s media campaign, which begins on January 24th and runs through the length of the Challenge.

Authorized travel expenses will be paid for a single member of each of the six awardee teams to attend the conference in its entirety.  These expenses include the World Congress registration fee, transportation, meals and lodging.  Travelers will need to provide receipts to document travel expenses and the travel expenses will be reimbursed according to Federal Government travel rules and regulations, including 41 CFR 300-3.1 (Invitational Travel).  Maximum reimbursement rates for travel to Orlando, Florida, are published by the General Services Administration here; these limits apply to the awards made in this Challenge.  No air travel with origins or destinations outside the U.S. (including the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and American Samoa) will be purchased, reimbursed or otherwise covered through the awards made in this Challenge. No cash equivalent or substitute compensation will be made in place of the authorized travel expenses.

Only the individual who makes the submission on behalf of an organization may receive the award. The submitting individual may designate, within 10 business days following notification of award, another person to whom to direct the award.

 

8. Submission Rights

Each Contestant grants to the U.S. DOT and others acting on behalf of the U.S. DOT, a royalty-free non-exclusive worldwide license to use, copy for use, perform publicly, and display publicly all parts of the Submission for the purposes of the Challenge until one year after the announcement of winners. This license includes posting or linking to the Submission on the official U.S. DOT website and making it available for use by the public.

 

9. Entry Conditions and Release

By entering, each Contestant agrees to: (a) comply with and be bound by these Official Rules and the decisions of the U.S. DOT and/or the Challenge judges which are binding and final in all matters relating to this Challenge; (b) release and hold harmless the U.S. DOT and any other organizations responsible for sponsoring, fulfilling, administering, advertising or promoting the Challenge, and all of their respective past and present officers, directors, employees, agents and representatives (collectively, the "Released Parties") from and against any and all claims, expenses, and liability, including but not limited to negligence and damages of any kind to persons and property, including but not limited to invasion of privacy (under appropriation, intrusion, public disclosure of private facts, false light in the public eye or other legal theory), defamation, slander, libel, violation of right of publicity, infringement of trademark, copyright or other intellectual property rights, property damage, or death or personal injury arising out of or relating to a Contestant’s entry, creation of an entry or submission of an entry, participation in the Challenge, acceptance or use or misuse of prize (including any travel or activity related thereto) and/or the broadcast, transmission, performance, exploitation or use of entry; and (c) indemnify, defend and hold harmless the U.S. DOT against any and all claims, expenses, and liabilities (including reasonable attorneys fees) arising out of or relating to a Contestant's participation in the Challenge and/or Contestant's acceptance, use or misuse of a prize or recognition.

 

10. Publicity

Except where prohibited, participation in the Challenge constitutes Contestant’s consent to U.S. DOT's and its agents' use of Contestant’s name, likeness, photograph, voice, opinions, and/or hometown and state for promotional purposes in any media, worldwide, without further payment or consideration.

 

11. General Conditions

The U.S. DOT reserves the right to cancel, suspend and/or modify the Challenge, or any part of it, if any fraud, technical failures or any other factor beyond the U.S. DOT’s reasonable control impairs the integrity or proper functioning of the Challenge, as determined by the U.S. DOT in its sole discretion. The U.S. DOT reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any individual or Contestant it finds to be tampering with the entry process or the operation of the Challenge or to be acting in violation of these Official Rules or any other promotion or in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner. Any attempt by any person to deliberately undermine the legitimate operation of the Challenge may be a violation of criminal and civil law, and, should such an attempt be made, the U.S. DOT reserves the right to seek damages from any such person to the fullest extent permitted by law.  The U.S. DOT’s failure to enforce any term of these Official Rules shall not constitute a waiver of that provision. The U.S. DOT is not responsible for, nor are they required to count, incomplete, late, misdirected, damaged, unlawful or illicit votes, including those secured through payment, votes achieved through automated means or by registering more than one e-mail account and name, using another Contestant's e-mail account and name, as well as those lost for technical reasons or otherwise.

 

12. Limitations of Liability

The Released Parties are not responsible for: (1) any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by Contestants, printing errors or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the Challenge; (2) technical failures of any kind, including, but not limited to malfunctions, interruptions, or disconnections in phone lines or network hardware or software; (3) unauthorized human intervention in any part of the entry process or the Challenge; (4) technical or human error which may occur in the administration of the Challenge or the processing of entries; or (5) any injury or damage to persons or property which may be caused, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, from Contestant's participation in the Challenge or receipt or use or misuse of any prize. If for any reason a Contestant's entry is confirmed to have been erroneously deleted, lost, or otherwise destroyed or corrupted, Contestant's sole remedy is another entry in the Challenge. No more than the stated number of prizes will be awarded.

 

Contestant warrants that he or she is the sole author and owner of the Submission, and that the Submission is wholly original with the Contestant, and that it does not infringe any copyright or any other rights of any third party of which Contestant is aware.

 

14. Privacy

Any personal information provided to the U.S. DOT and ChallengePost by registering or filling out the submission form through the website is used only to communicate on matters regarding the submission and/or the Challenge -- unless the information provider chooses to receive updates or notifications about other competitions from ChallengePost on an opt-in basis. Information is not collected for commercial marketing.