Thursday, December 28, 2017

MTA unveils 19 finalists for Genius Challenge

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MTA unveils 19 finalists for Genius Challenge MTA

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) released the names of the 19 finalists in three categories as part of "The MTA Genius Transit Challenge."


The Genius Challenge was launched in May and seeks to identify innovative solutions to increase the capacity and improve the reliability of New York City's subway service. A panel of technology and transportation experts reviewed more than 400 submissions from applicants across the professional spectrum including engineers, technologists and leading academics and business leaders. The challenge's judges narrowed the field to 64 before moving 19 to the finals. The winners are expected to be announced sometime in the first quarter of 2018.

"When I took on the role of chairman last summer, I was very forthright about the need to stabilize the subway system and we've begun to do that with the implementation of the Subway Action Plan. Additionally, I said that we have to look forward and that after undertaking efforts at stabilizing the system we needed to modernize it. The Genius Challenge is the first step in achieving the modernization goal," said MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota.

Up to a $1 million "Genius" award will be provided to the best ideas in three separate categories:

1) Improve signaling in the New York City Subway System by identifying strategies to dramatically accelerate deployment of Communications-Based Train Control or to deploy alternate signaling solutions that offer technological advantages and can be deployed in a more rapid timeframe;

2) Identify strategies to rapidly deploy better subway cars to the Subway System, either through faster delivery of new cars capable of supporting modern communications and train control, or through rapid refurbishment of existing cars; and

3) Increase communications infrastructure in the Subway System, including tunnels, to support modern train control systems.

"Ultimately, this competition is about identifying technologies that can deliver more capacity and throughput in the subway system. Subway ridership has grown in tandem with New York's overall economic growth and it's imperative that we continue working toward finding ways to accommodate more people with better, faster service. Having been so involved with the competition for the past six months, I am confident that ideas that have been submitted can and will play a key role in delivering New York a 21st century subway system," said Janno Lieber, the MTA's chief development officer.

The finalists listed by category are as follows, more information is available through the challenge's website:


*AECOM: Intelligent Alignment of Service Delivery to Customer Demand

*Alstom: Train-Centric Peer-to-Peer CBTC

*Ansaldo STS: Video Odometry, Heads-Up Display and Augmented Reality

*Arup: Acorn: Autonomous Car Operating Rail Network

*Robert James (Individual): Connected Vehicles & Ultra-Wideband for Communications & Location

*Metrom Rail : Positive Train Control System based on Ultra-Wideband

*Siemens : Dramatically Accelerate Communications-Based Train Control Deployment

*Thales Group: Several Integrated Ideas to Accelerate Communications-Based Train Control Deployment

*Thales Group: Next Generation Positioning: Autonomous Train Car Platform


*Alstom: Upgrades to Improve Subway Car Reliability

*Craig Avedisian (Individual): Modify Cars to Enable Trains to Have 4 More Cars

*Bombardier: Modular Car Concept Utilizing a Common Vehicle Platform

*CRRC MA: Technology-Advanced Cars with Shorter Vehicle Lifecycle

*CSINTRANS: Open Information System to Improve Operations Efficiency & Customer Communications

*Faiveley (Wabtec): Newly Developed Brake Control System


*Alcatel-Lucent (Nokia): Standards-Based Trackside Private LTE Network with an IP/MPLS Backbone

*Alstom: Multi-Service High Capacity, Flexible Network

*Bechtel: The Big B: Semi-Automated Robotic System

  • *Transit Wireless: Dedicated LTE Network to Connect Trains to Tunnel Entrances and Trackside Radios