Four winners have been chosen in the first ever Georgia Smart Communities Challenge, a program led by Georgia Tech, offering winners seed money as well as access to university experts and a network of like-minded peers. Winners are the cities of Albany and Chamblee as well as Chatham and Gwinnett Counties. Each of the winners presented ways to improve different issues facing their communities.

The city of Albany proposed a housing data initiative that will evaluate an automated housing registry. According to their proposal, they will focus on improving neighborhood infrastructure, encouraging safe and sustainable housing, and revitalizing the city.

The city of Chamblee will study the use of autonomous vehicles to connect to public transportation stops. Their hope is to reduce traffic, increase mobility options and also enhance safety for pedestrians and other travelers.

Gwinnett County will also look to improve congestion by evaluating traffic management technologies that can expedite the movement of vehicles. They also are looking to improve safety by exploring connected technologies.

Chatham County will lead the development of a sensor-based network to help assess flood risk during natural disasters and storms. The network is expected to improve upon existing flood warning systems, emergency response plans, and flood prediction tools.

Along with a monetary prize, each winner will be paired with a researcher from Georgia Tech. "We look forward to seeing how Georgia Tech’s research expertise and the communities’ vision of smart development mesh together to improve the lives of their citizens," said Georgia Tech President G.P. "Bud" Peterson when announcing the winners. "These groundbreaking projects have the potential to become models for other communities around our state."