2018 Greater Portland Challenges and Challenge Hosts

Oregon Department of Transportation

Oregon Department of Transportation

METRO Regional Government

METRO Regional Government

Washington State Department of Transportation

Washington State Department of Transportation

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City of Tualatin logo.jpg
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ODOT's challenge: ODOT needs a way to process a messy set of input data --- a long list of scanned PDFs of executive orders that determine different vehicle classes for purposes of the California ZEV program --- into a spreadsheet or database format that can be used by ODOT to classify vehicles after decoding them based on VINs. Ideally, the solution would be forward-looking, and additional PDFs could be processed in the future to append new vehicles to the list.

Market demand for a solution: This solution could build capacity in OCR and data processing in a way that could be applicable to other uses. There are also limited firms that provide VIN decoding services which are increasingly of use to states looking to track advanced technology vehicle sales, and many of these services have had growing pains in terms of accurately categorizing the types of vehicles (BEVs, PHEVs, HEVs, FCVs) that states and other market entities have been most interested in. The solution to this challenge could potentially be grown into an application with much broader market value.

What resources will ODOT commit to this project? (Data, access, staff time, dollars): ODOT staff will work to provide examples of the input and output data we would like to produce and otherwise provide background and expertise on VIN decoding, the need for electric vehicle classification under last year's transportation legislation, and other relevant information to support the challenge. Specific commitments on staff time and resources may be subject to state procurement rules and can't be made at this time. If the project seems viable but requires an exchange of resources, ODOT may conduct a competitive procurement process to identify a consultant to complete the work.

Metro's Challenge: We’re seeing an explosion of new technology-enabled ways to travel, but they don’t benefit everyone. Many people in our region don’t have the access to technology and internet, bank account, language skills, documentation, physical ability, or knowledge to access new mobility services like ridehailing, ridesharing, and bikesharing. We're looking to partner with a firm to help solve one or more of these barriers. Other public agencies have experimented with services that allow unbanked people to pay in cash at convenience stores for credits that can be used in apps, or or community kiosks and concierge services for those that lack digital access. These are promising approaches, and we'd like to build on previous work to create a solution tailored to the needs of disadvantaged people in the Portland region.

Explain briefly the market demand for a solution: There is a large market for digital equity solutions both among public agencies and new mobility companies. Many public agencies and new mobility companies are interested in partnering to provide better transportation service, but public agencies' mandate to provide equitable transportation service, coupled with the fact that new mobility services are not accessible to all, makes it challenging to pursue these partnerships. New mobility companies like Uber, Lyft, ReachNow, and Car2go who are interested in growing their markets and serving new communities would also likely be interested in making their services more accessible for everyone independent of any partnerships with public agencies.

What resources will your organization commit to this project? (Data, access, staff time, dollars): Metro will commit:
1. Data and research to help our partner firm understand where different disadvantaged populations live and what their transportation needs are.
2. Staff time to help guide the project and connect firms to community groups for product testing.

We are also working to launch a grant program dedicated to funding transportation technology pilot projects. While we can't commit to fund any projects at this time, firms that have a track record of working with public agencies to develop solutions will likely be well positioned to pursue grants.


WSDOT's Challenge: Commute times are unreliable and congestion is increasing in the urban area. Alternatives to sitting in traffic exist today. These potential options may include changing mode, changing commute hours or delaying the trip, telecommuting, traveling to remote and/or shared workspace, or just enduring the congestion, along with many others. Commuters, employers, and other businesses would generally benefit from having an integrated suite of options to help make choices both before and during their trip. Choices could be more easily driven by comparing similar characteristics between the array of options that would best suit the individual’s needs.

Explain briefly the market demand for a solution: When utilizing more than one method to “get to work,” benefits are likely to be realized by many. A commuter may choose to avoid today’s route that has an accident causing severe congestion by traveling to a nearby, shared workspace. The commuter’s employer retains a more productive and satisfied employee that has more time to work in the day and spends less time away from family or personal activities after work; the workspace business benefits from higher utilization; one less single-occupant vehicle is utilizing the congested corridor.
Another commuter is aware of a congested corridor ahead and changes mode by stopping at a nearby park and ride to board a bus. This results in one less vehicle added to the congestion, a parking fee gets traded for bus fare, and technology assists the commuter in reading and communicating while riding as a passenger on the bus resulting in more productive work time.
Some commute corridors experience recurring congestion. Have static access to a suite of trip alternatives would be beneficial for typical congestion so a commuter could plan. Incidents are a common occurrence but time, location, and duration make any commute unpredictable. Having dynamic access to trip choice alternatives would benefit those commuters, employers and other businesses.

What resources will your organization commit to this project? (Data, access, staff time, dollars): WSDOT would commit staff time to assist in research and gathering data and making connections with other relevant data sources.

City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability's Challenge:City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) is testing three types of air quality sensor devices to be deployed along an arterial roadway. BPS would like help creating flexible data visualization tools to help us more easily perform analysis of sensor air quality/climate data integrated with transportation data. Current analysis and data visualization is performed using R statistical language but a flexible data visualization tool would allow a variety of users to access data analysis. Below are example questions we want to ask and produce graphs for:

For a given time period, are the median and 95th percentile pollutant concentrations higher or lower in this area versus a second area? What are the differences in traffic volumes for the same time period?
For a given location, what is the diurnal pattern of pollution? Weekly diurnal patterns? Seasonal diurnal patterns?
What is the relationship between pollutant concentration and traffic volumes for a given location and specified period of time? Pollutant concentration versus wind speed, temperature, relative humidity, other pollutants?

Explain briefly the market demand for a solution: Flexible data visualization tools would be applicable to other types of data beyond air quality and climate sensors. Data collection of temporal and spatial measurements is on the rise across communities, research groups, and the private sector due to increased access to computer processing power, sensors/instruments, remote communication, and needs of data-driven decision making and citizen science. To process such data, perform analysis, and create reproducible reports, many applications need accessible, flexible data analysis and visualization tools. Such tools could be expanded to additional market demands and/or to help a firm’s own work and analysis be performed more efficiently.

What resources will your organization commit to this project? (Data, access, staff time, dollars): BPS and Portland State University partners will provide access to integrated air quality/sensor and transportation data, share examples of current data analysis products and share and help further develop data analysis questions. BPS and Portland State University can also provide time to test and provide feedback on tools created.


City of Tualatin's Challenge: An integrated problem that focuses on maintain and enhancing workforce mobility and the alleviation of the arterial congestion on I-5 – termed as the last mile. The last mile issue focuses on the primary connection of the WES Station, servicing Wilsonville to Beaverton, and the accessibility to the primary industrial and commercial employment areas of Tualatin and the proposed SW Corridor project (access to downtown Portland) in Bridgeport Village. This three-mile deferential between targeted employment and transportation areas and the limited commute hours provided by the WES Line hinders access for both employers and employees – decreasing employment growth potential and workers overall quality of life. Identifying access solutions in addition to pavement construction could assist in sustaining and growing economic health and preserving and/or increasing quality of life.

Explain briefly the market demand for a solution: With nearly 30,000 workers equating to $1.6 billion dollars in annual payroll wages, Tualatin’s primary employment clusters of advanced manufacturing, food processing, and corporate and financial services require expanded solutions in addressing infrastructure and mobility constraints. With the demand and the service market of Tualatin, greater opportunities exist for a solution bearing organization to increase revenues and access to a client/customer base.

What resources will your organization commit to this project? (Data, access, staff time, dollars): Based on the offered solution, the City is willing to consider data, shared access agreements, dedicated staff time, and potential program funding as directed by City Management and Tualatin City Council.


The Challenge: As the transit times between Lake Oswego and Portland continues to increase, the timing is now to explore and to solve the need for greater commuter capacity. For the last decade, several attempts to improve capacity have failed for one reason or another. However, as we enter the age of autonomous vehicles, new opportunities will emerge that can balance the desire for a bicycle path with the desire for new mass/micro transit options. This challenge could explore operating autonomous buses between downtown LO and downtown Portland along Hwy 43. Furthermore, this group could look at investing in the LO-Portland Trolley line to allow for simultaneous passage of both vehicles, pedestrians and bicycles.

Explain briefly the market demand for a solution: The traffic problems between Lake Oswego and Portland are well documented by Metro: https://www.oregonmetro.gov/lake-oswego-portland-transit-project. Without a doubt, a need exists to increase the transit capacity along the Hwy 43 corridor. In addition to increased transit supply, interest in having a pedestrian and bicycle pathway between the city is also abundant. Lastly, the Portland Metro area is looking for a place to start the autonomous vehicle revolution. The trolley line is a great place to start as this pathway is isolated away from current vehicle flow without closing streets.

What resources will your organization commit to this project? (Data, access, staff time, dollars): Lake Oswego the managing partner of the trolley line could provide some legal and historical context to the problem. In addition  private groups may be interested in assisting through limited financial contribution depending on the need.


Daimler Truck North America is exploring the use of blockchain technology to increase efficiency & transparency in our supply chain & finance operations. We are looking for Oregon companies that could help us develop, deploy, and maintain blockchain systems.

Explain briefly the market demand for a solution: DTNA is seeking proposals to improve its core management process, which currently involves multiple parties that require payment upon delivery & acceptance of physical parts/cores. This process currently has high coordination & documentation efforts for transactions and a lack of visibility to the physical cores. Our parts, finance & remanufacturing teams are all affected by this process, and we are seeking to improve it with a blockchain solution.

What resources will your organization commit to this project? (Data, access, staff time, dollars): After understanding the capacity of your firm to address these needs, DTNA would follow up based on timing and potential for collaboration.


Multnomah County's Challenge: How can we ensure the traveling public has real-time information about when and where construction work is happening our County roads? Multnomah County is challenging our Tech partners to assist us in informing our citizens in real time of traffic closures by utilizing our existing permitting system, GIS, and making this information available through the most frequently used navigation apps.

Explain briefly the market demand for a solution: People already use navigation apps to help them get around, but a critical piece of data is missing from these apps. Multnomah County issues 34 permits per month for work in our right of way. These include road closures or detours of varying distances and lengths of time. As there becomes more and more congestion on roads, more construction projects adjacent to roadways there is more need for a seamless integration of traffic control information to be provided to the travelling public. Every single jurisdiction faces this issue and each jurisdiction uses different technology to accept applications, issues permits and traffic control plans, and make this information available to the public.

What resources will your organization commit to this project? (Data, access, staff time, dollars): We will provide all data and secure access to our systems. We will also provide staff time to assist with the project.

City of Hillsboro's Challenge: Let’s grab big data. Our streets are full of data every single day that we can’t use right now because its collected by 3rd parties. How can we access, anonymize, format, and harness data from Strava, MapMyRun, Moves, Google Maps, ReachNow, Car2Go, Lyft, Uber, TriMet, etc. that are all existing and in some cases available. Should be looking for a recurring update that also processes the data collected. Let’s own our own data.

Explain briefly the market demand for a solution: The data could be utilized to increase efficiency for cities and even entire regions to help with problems like traffic congestion, public safety issues, current and future planning for development within communities. For a tech firm this is an opportunity to find ways to make data more useful and to potentially discover new ways to monetize data while making a positive contribution to society. This could lead to a whole new set of opportunities for private sector companies to interface with public agencies to benefit the population while deploying their new technology advances.

What resources will your organization commit to this project? (Data, access, staff time, dollars): We will commit staff time and data to this effort.