Student requirements

a. The competition is open to students of Urban Planning, Urban Design, Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Engineering, and other relevant disciplines globally.
b. Students must be in their second year of university or beyond. Graduate students are eligible.
c. Students enrol as teams of minimum 2 participants. Recommended team size is 2-3 participants.
d. Teams must spend a combined 80-200 working hours on their project.
e. Each team shall collaborate with a sponsor such as a city, transportation authority, airport etc; however only students count as official members of the team.
f. City staff and other external parties can be interviewed and engaged in discussions, but are not allowed to do modeling or make direct changes in the report.
g. We recommend meeting with the sponsor a minimum of three times and at the final meeting make sure they approve the report.

Key issues to be addressed

In collaboration with the chosen sponsor, each student team shall select an urban development project in need of sustainable transit and present how autonomous shared mobility can be implemented as a solution.

Team sponsors

Each team must have a sponsor. The sponsor can be a city, transportation authority, harbour, hospital, airport or any other entity that has interest in the implementation of a sustainable, autonomous transportation system. Teams may use more than one sponsor, e.g. a City and a local ATN/SAV vendor.

NOTE: Teams can apply while locating potential sponsors. Should a team need support, the UIDC organization can help in finding sponsors.

Collaboration & project selection

The students and sponsor are obliged to collaborate to identify a suitable project area. The area should be selected based on real-life transit challenges and must have a sustainability component. We recommend scheduling a start-up meeting early in the process for the students to get an understanding of the obstacles and opportunities of the chosen project area.

Sponsor requirements

The sponsor can be a city, transportation authority, harbour, hospital, airport or any other entity that has interest in the implementation of a sustainable, autonomous transportation system.

To assist the students, the sponsor is required to provide:

a. A contact person for project interviews and discussions. We recommend meeting with the students at a minimum of three times.
b. Information about one or more local development projects in need of sustainable transit solutions.
c. Critical data such as development plans, maps, policy documents on environmental goals, ridership data, long term transportation plans, etc.

Assessment criteria

Submissions will be assessed based on:
a. Academic quality - Is the report academically written and clearly structured? Has prior research and experiences been used and referenced? Etc.
b. Relevance - Has the team successfully collaborated with the sponsor to address an actual need?
c. Feasibility - Is the proposed solution suitable for the project area?
d. Usability - Is the study practical and solution oriented? How can the results be used?
e. Visual representation - How well is the visualization executed? Does the visualization create interest and help explain the scope and feasibility of the project?

ALL projects must have a transportation, energy and a built environment component. The transportation component must include either an Automated Transit Network (ATN) or a Shared Automated Vehicle (SAV) system. Students are free to use additional transportation systems should they find it suitable.

Registration cost

The registration cost for sponsors is $1500. The money is used for student support, project management and prize money. The fee can be paid by a city, a city agency, an external sponsor or a foundation.

Students pay no fee.

Prize and award ceremony

The winning teams will share a cash prize of $2,500 before taxes. The team winning first place will also be invited to present their project at the Podcar City Conference (PCC), scheduled to take place in the fall of 2021.

UPDATED INFORMATION March 2021: Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and global travel restrictions, PCC will partly or fully be hosted as an online event, and t
he winning team may be asked to participate via digital platforms.

Prior to the conference, the team can get assistance to upgrade their 3D model to include traffic simulations of their chosen transit system. 

Final submission format

All submissions must be in English and comply to the following formats:

a. A written academic report 16 pages
A 3D model of the project site site with the chosen transit system
A 2-4 minute video

The 3D model and video

The 3D models are used to showcase each team´s vision in a virtual replica of the project area. Students are free to choose whichever software they are comfortable with. When the model is completed, each team will produce a short video (2-4 minutes) to show the model for the judges. The visualizations should be designed both to attract interest and help evaluate the scope and feasibility of the project.

The Report

The report shall:

a. Be written in an academic manner and consist of 16 pages A4 or Legal, portrait orientation, including front page, table of contents and references.
b. Be based on needs identified from meetings with the city.
c. Include:

1. An ATN or public SAV-system (additional transportation systems may be added)
2. A front page stating the name of the project, city, team name and team members, and also a link to the video presentation
3. Abstract
4. Project and purpose description
5. Motivation – why this project was chosen
6. Images from the 3D model
7. Effects on the built environment
8. Effects on social and environmental sustainability
9. A rudimentary energy analysis
10. Reference list


The report counts for 60% and the visualizations 40% of the total grade

Failed Submission

Submissions will be disqualified if:

a. The report is more than 16 pages and/or incomplete and/or not submitted on time.
b. The 3D model is incomplete and/or not finished/submitted on time.
c. The team has failed to produce a video or the video is more than 4 minutes and/or incomplete and/or not submitted on time.
d. The team or any of its members has used external resources except as allowed.
e. An ATN or SAV system has not been used for the study.

Should any team experience difficulties that may lead to a failed submission, they must contact 4Dialog ahead of time for counselling.

Restrictions, ownership and user rights

a. Submitting teams automatically warrant that their submissions are original and free of any copyright infringements.
b. Participants have the right to use all information they and their team have submitted; however, are not allowed to sell, resell or in any other way use the work for profit and/or other commercial purposes unless 4Dialog agrees to this in writing.
c. All information submitted to UIDC servers is automatically the intellectual property of 4Dialog. Teams are still free to use the material as stated above.
d. All participants authorize 4Dialog to use all submitted materials such as reports, videos, visualizations and 4D models for media, marketing and any future development purposes without any compensation.


By entering the UIDC, your name, email and Skype alias will be saved and used by UIDC and 4Dialog for the purpose of contacting and assisting you throughout the competition. Contact information is normally not saved longer than two years from entering date. Should you at any point in time wish us to delete your information, send an email to