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How you can win a $75,000 contract from the GDOT
Software challenge using traffic data could help develop a smart vehicle pilot plan
- photo neonbrand Unsplash

Traffic along local roads is one of the most common frustrations for Forsyth County residents, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that an upcoming tech challenge will have big prizes for the team that can figure out how to keep Georgia drivers moving along.

The Georgia Department of Transportation is hosting “Talking Traffic Lights,” a software challenge using traffic data, on Nov. 7-11 at Digital Ignition, a technology incubator in south Forsyth, where the winning team will be awarded a $75,000 contract with GDOT to help develop a smart vehicle pilot plan.

“Safety is always top of mind at GDOT and we are delighted to be partnering with Digital Ignition to host a Hack-a-Thon that will yield new smart vehicle insights as well as help us identify the right partner for future GDOT innovations,” GDOT Commissioner Russell McMurry said in a news release.

The competition will feature teams from across the country, who will use data from a pilot program ran by GDOT to see how that information can be used for safety applications. 

Teams will use smart vehicle, blockchain, internet of things (IoT) and artificial intelligence technology in the competition, and the winner will be selected by a panel of judges and announced at a breakfast at 8 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 11.

The data has been collected from a variety of sources. Some of the data comes from GDOT’s connected vehicle pilot program that is currently comprised of traffic signals at 54 intersections on Peachtree Road in Buckhead and Ponce de Leon Avenue. The traffic signals are equipped with IoT technology to communicate with smart devices inside vehicles. 

Some of the data comes from almost 7,000 traffic signals around the state connected to GDOT’s management center along with sensors on the side of roadways that monitor traffic density, speed and volume.

The four-day event will also feature 10 speakers, 25 mobility experts, a ride-along for teams with a GDOT vehicle to see how information is collected and more.

The competition is the first of its kind to not be held in an academic setting, and the first such competition to be held at Digital Ignition, which was recently rebooted by the Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with Forward Forsyth, an entity of local civic and community stakeholders.

“Talking Traffic Lights” is the latest in efforts at the local and state level to increase technology jobs in Forsyth County.

“As a resident of Forsyth County, I am proud that Digital Ignition is working with area leaders and our pool of talented IT executives to help lead the state and the world through meaningful advancements utilizing Blockchain, AI and IoT technologies,” Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan said in a news release.

More information about the competition can be found at