‘Public Square’ Wins
Driverless Future Challenge

“Public Square,” the award-winning entry by FXFOWLE with Sam Schwartz Engineering, provides New York City a way to rethink its streets and reclaim space for pedestrians. The entry was chosen as the winner of The Driverless Future Challenge by a panel of New York City Commissioners, in front of a live audience of over 600 attendees at NYU Skirball Center.


Four finalists were chosen

To ensure that New York City takes full advantage of the benefits of autonomous transportation — rather than let it unfold haphazardly with no accommodations and restrictions — Blank Space partnered with the City of New York to solicit actionable solutions for a driverless future in one of the most complex cities in the world.


Twelve more visions of a Driverless NYC

Our competitive and diverse range of entries all presented wildly unique solutions to the challenge. In addition to providing innovative ways to prepare New York City for autonomous vehicles, the ideas are actionable, and ready to start changing the city.


Participants evaluated the future of autonomous transportation in NYC through the lens of the Mayor’s OneNYC initiative:


Improve city infrastructure, modulate traffic, vehicle-to-vehicle communication, eliminate traffic lights, autonomous deliveries.


Making sure all citizens benefit from autonomous technology, focusing on accessibility, focusing on transit deserts, creating new jobs.


Reduce need for parking, curbing emissions,
increase carpooling, introducing micro-transit, new green spaces and bike lanes, renewable energy sources.


A more durable and safer transit system,
reducing drunk driving, “Vision Zero,” pedestrian-first, faster emergency services.

“The entries expanded far beyond traditional transportation concerns to find positive impact for all New Yorkers in a myriad of ways.”

– Matthew Hoffman, ‎Cofounder of Blank Space

The four finalists pitched to NYC Commissioners an audience of more than 600 guests at ‘Pitch The City.’

The finalists presented at the “Pitch The City” event, held during a special edition of the monthly NY Tech Meetup (NYTM) event on July 11 at NYU’s Skirball Center. NYTM is the largest Meetup.com group worldwide and is hosted by the NY Tech Alliance, the biggest tech non-profit in the region with over 60,000 members. ‘Public Square’ was selected live at the event by a panel of NYC Government Officials from the Mayor’s Office, the Economic Development Corporation, the Department of Transportation, the Taxi and Limousine Commission, the Department of City Planning, and a representative from New Lab, NYC’s preeminent technology and manufacturing hub.

Image: The NY Tech Meetup is NYC’s preeminent monthly showcase for innovation and technology.


  • Jeff Merritt (New York City Mayor’s Office of Tech and Innovation)
  • Kate Daly (NYCEDC)
  • Sander Dolder (NYCEDC)
  • Michael Replogle (NYC DOT)
  • William Carry (NYC DOT)
  • Patrick Smith (NYC DOT)
  • Rodney Stiles (NYC TLC)
  • Dawn Miller (NYC TLC)
  • Jeff Garber (NYC TLC)

  • Matthew Daus (Windels, Marx, Lane & Mittendorf)
  • Danny Stillion (IDEO)
  • Ben Prosky (AIANY)
  • David Piscuskas (AIANY)
  • Jeffrey Inaba (INABA WILLIAMS)
  • Odile Decq (Studio Odile Decq)
  • Jürgen Mayer H. (J. MAYER H.)
  • Matt Sweeney (Uber Advanced Technologies Group)
  • Courtney Ehrlichman (Traffic 21 Institute)

  • Davin Stowell (Smart Design)
  • Matthew Hoffman (Blank Space)
  • Francesca Giuliani (Blank Space)
  • Eric Rothman (HR&A)
  • Michelle Cheung (Mercedes-Benz Research & Development)
  • Susan Chin (Design Trust For Public Space)
  • Shaina Horowitz (New Lab)
  • David Vega-Barachowitz (NYC Department of City Planning)


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