Smart Columbus

Last updated
Smart Columbus
Smart Columbus logo.png
SMRT Columbus.jpg
The Smart Columbus Experience Center
Established2016;5 years ago (2016)
Location
Coordinates 39°57′30″N83°00′10″W / 39.958209°N 83.002854°W / 39.958209; -83.002854 Coordinates: 39°57′30″N83°00′10″W / 39.958209°N 83.002854°W / 39.958209; -83.002854
Director
Jordan Davis
Website smart.columbus.gov

Smart Columbus is an innovation organization in Columbus, Ohio. The initiative is led by the City of Columbus and the Columbus Partnership, a nonprofit organization for development in Central Ohio. Smart Columbus was founded in 2016 to utilize $50 million in grant awards toward technology, transportation, and environmental developments. [1]

Contents

Organization

Smart Columbus has 12 full-time employees. [2]

Projects and goals

Smart Columbus aims to replace conventional automobiles with public and electric transportation. Car dependency is high in Columbus 85 percent of residents in the region drive to and from work. [3]

One of the program's initiatives is to install 925 electric vehicle charging stations in Central Ohio by the end of 2020. [2] As of September 2020, the organization had installed 914. [4]

Smart Columbus has also been testing driverless shuttle technology through pilot programs beginning in 2018. [5]

The organization has developed six "Smart Mobility Hubs" along the Central Ohio Transit Authority's CMAX bus line. The mobility hubs aim to solve last-mile problems by linking the bus rapid transit line with conventional and electric bicycles, electric scooters, and automobiles. The hubs will have chargers and docks for scooters and bikes, spots for car-share vehicles, and ride-hailing drop-off points. They will also feature interactive kiosks that share transit information, provide free Wi-Fi, list nearby restaurants, retail, and resources, issue public service announcements, and have an emergency call button. [5]

Another issue Smart Columbus is addressing is vehicle safety installing technology in 350 to 500 private vehicles and 750 city, county, and transit vehicles. The equipment installed is to give real-time safety alerts to drivers, and assess how it impacts driver safety. The study is to take place in and around Linden, home to seven of 100 intersections with the highest volume of car crashes in Central Ohio. [5] The roads studied are North High Street, Morse Road, and Cleveland Avenue. [6]

The Smart Columbus Operating System is a database of projects for use by software developers and the general public. The system has data for multiple projects the organization has been working on. [6]

One early goal, to platoon trucks to move efficiently while traveling, was eliminated. Another goal, a mobile app to plan routes using multiple transit options, launched its beta in 2019. The app, Pivot, was not given a payment system as originally planned. [6]

Smart Columbus also aimed to help sell 2,998 electric vehicles, as part of its $10 million grant from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation. During the course of the program, 3,458 electric vehicles were sold, primarily the battery-electric Tesla models 3, S, and X. [4]

Experience center

The Smart Columbus Experience Center, located on the Scioto Mile in Downtown Columbus, was created as a showroom for electric vehicles. In 2019, it was planned to also feature innovations in connected devices, autonomous technology, and other smart city technology. [7]

History

Smart Columbus was founded in 2016. The city was selected to receive $40 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation to develop a "smart city", a grant which was met with millions of dollars in nonprofit and private investments. [3] The federal grant was part of a competition among 77 cities to receive the funding. Columbus, as the Midwest's fastest-growing city, proposed strong ideas connecting its problems with measurable solutions. [8] The grant would be used to develop technologies and share data, allowing the technologies to be replicated in other cities. [6] The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation gave a $10 million grant to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through decarbonizing and electrifying vehicles. [7] The largest private donor, AEP, contributed $185 million toward de-carbonization and electric grid projects. [2]

The organization's Smart Columbus Experience Center opened in June 2018. [7] A celebratory opening took place on June 29 of that year. [9]

Smart Columbus's deadline is set for mid-2021, extended from originally around August 2020. As of June 2020, there are still numerous projects to accomplish. One goal met was to have at least 3,200 electric vehicles sold by March 2020, and it expects to hit its goal of 1,000 electric vehicle charging stations. [6]

Driverless shuttle programs

In 2018, the organization piloted a free driverless shuttle system on a three-mile route around the Scioto Mile. [2] The white-and-green self-driving shuttles had with six seats, including one for an attendant, able to take control of the shuttle if needed. The program cost was estimated at $550,000, co-funded by the Columbus Partnership and DriveOhio. The Transport Workers Union and other employees of the Central Ohio Transit Authority, the local bus system, opposed the shuttle system for customer safety. [10] The program was intended to be the first of three driverless shuttle pilot programs.

In May 2019, the city approved $1.1 million for automated shuttles from the company EasyMile. On February 5, 2020, Smart Columbus began testing two 12-passenger self-driving shuttles in Linden, a low-income neighborhood in the city. The program was set to end in February 2021. Its test drives were temporarily halted that February, when one shuttle unexpectedly stopped and caused a passenger to fall, with minor injuries. [11] On July 29, the program resumed, to be completed in March 2021. The pilot will be used to transport boxes of food for people in need during the COVID pandemic, which hit the United States in March. Smart Columbus is assessing resuming passenger service on the shuttles. [5]

Related Research Articles

Self-driving car Road vehicle that is capable of moving safely with little or no human input

A self-driving car, also known as an autonomous vehicle, driverless car, or robotic car (robo-car), is a vehicle that is capable of sensing its environment and moving safely with little or no human input.

Jacksonville Skyway People mover in Jacksonville, Florida, United States

The Jacksonville Skyway is a people mover in Jacksonville, Florida, United States. It is an automated people mover system operated by the Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA). Opening in 1989 with three stations in Downtown Jacksonville, the Skyway was extended in 1996 following a conversion from its original technology to Bombardier Transportation equipment. It was expanded again in 1998 and 2000. The system currently comprises two routes across 2.5 miles (4.0 km) of track, serving eight stations, and crosses the St. Johns River on the Acosta Bridge. There is currently no fare to ride the Skyway, which had 1.2 million passengers in 2014.

MBTA bus

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority operates 170 bus routes in the Greater Boston area, many of which were formerly part of a large streetcar system. Some routes are for local transport within the city; others bring passengers from surrounding areas to stops on the MBTA Commuter Rail or subway lines. The MBTA has a policy objective to provide transit service within walking distance for all residents living in areas with population densities greater than 5,000 inhabitants per square mile (1,900/km2) within the MBTA's service district. Much of this service is provided by bus.

COSI Science museum in Columbus, Ohio

COSI, officially the Center of Science and Industry, is a science museum and research center in Columbus, Ohio. Originally opened in 1964, COSI was moved to a 320,000-square-foot (30,000 m2) facility designed by Japanese architect Arata Isozaki along a bend in the Scioto River in the Franklinton neighborhood in 1999. COSI features more than 300 interactive exhibits throughout themed exhibition areas.

The Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority, commonly Capital Metro or Cap Metro, is a public transportation provider located in Austin, Texas. It operates bus, paratransit services and a commuter rail system known as the Capital MetroRail in Austin and several suburbs in Travis and Williamson counties.

Central Ohio Transit Authority

The Central Ohio Transit Authority is a public transit agency serving the Columbus metropolitan area, headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. It operates fixed-route buses, bus rapid transit, microtransit, and paratransit services.

Vehicular automation Automation for various purposes of vehicles

Vehicular automation involves the use of mechatronics, artificial intelligence, and multi-agent systems to assist a vehicle's operator. These features and the vehicles employing them may be labeled as intelligent or smart. A vehicle using automation for difficult tasks, especially navigation, may be referred to as semi-autonomous. A vehicle relying solely on automation is consequently referred to as robotic or autonomous. After the invention of the integrated circuit, the sophistication of automation technology increased. Manufacturers and researchers subsequently added a variety of automated functions to automobiles and other vehicles. The technology involved in implementing autonomous vehicles is very expansive, ranging from technological improvements in the vehicle itself to the environment and objects around the vehicle. As the use of automated vehicles increases, they are becoming more influential in human lives. Although automated vehicles bring various benefits, they also come with various concerns. Also, there are still technological challenges that need to be overcome in order to make vehicular automation robust and scalable.

Franklinton (Columbus, Ohio) Neighborhood in Columbus, Ohio

Franklinton is a neighborhood in Columbus, Ohio, just west of its downtown. Settled in 1797, Franklinton is the first American settlement in Franklin County, and was the county seat until 1824. As the city of Columbus grew, the city annexed and incorporated the existing settlement in 1859. Franklinton is bordered by the Scioto River on the north and east, Harmon Avenue on the east, Stimmel Road and Greenlawn Avenue on the south, and Interstate 70 on the west. Its main thoroughfare is West Broad Street, one of the city's two main roads.

Downtown Columbus, Ohio Neighborhood in Columbus, Ohio

Downtown Columbus is the central business district of Columbus, Ohio. Downtown is centered on the intersection of Broad and High Streets, and encompasses all of the area inside the Inner Belt. Downtown is home to most of the tallest buildings in Columbus.

RechargeIT

RechargeIT is one of five initiatives within Google.org, the charitable arm of Google, created with the aim to reduce CO2 emissions, cut oil use, and stabilize the electrical grid by accelerating the adoption of plug-in electric vehicles.

Waymo Autonomous car technology company

Waymo LLC is an American autonomous driving technology development company. It is a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc, the parent company of Google. Waymo operates a commercial self-driving taxi service in the greater Phoenix, Arizona area called "Waymo One", with Chandler, Arizona fully mapped. In October 2020, the company expanded the service to the public, and it is the only self-driving commercial service that operates without safety backup drivers in the vehicle. Waymo also develops driving technology for use in other vehicles, including delivery vans and Class 8 tractor-trailers for delivery and logistics.

EasyMile EZ10 Battery-powered autonomous electric bus

The EasyMile EZ10 is a battery-powered autonomous electric bus designed and marketed by EasyMile. It seats up to six people and four more passengers may ride standing, or it can accommodate a wheelchair, with the aim of helping to bridge the first mile/last mile of a trip. EZ10 has been deployed in more than 30 cities and 16 countries.

History of self-driving cars Overview of the history of self-driving cars

Experiments have been conducted on self-driving cars since at least the 1920s; promising trials took place in the 1950s and work has proceeded since then. The first self-sufficient and truly autonomous cars appeared in the 1980s, with Carnegie Mellon University's Navlab and ALV projects in 1984 and Mercedes-Benz and Bundeswehr University Munich's Eureka Prometheus Project in 1987. Since then, numerous major companies and research organizations have developed working autonomous vehicles including Mercedes-Benz, General Motors, Continental Automotive Systems, Autoliv Inc., Bosch, Nissan, Toyota, Audi, Volvo, Vislab from University of Parma, Oxford University and Google. In July 2013, Vislab demonstrated BRAiVE, a vehicle that moved autonomously on a mixed traffic route open to public traffic.

Via Transportation Real-time ridesharing company

Via Transportation, Inc. is a global public transport, logistics, and TransitTech company headquartered in New York City. Via licenses its technology to cities, transportation authorities, school districts, universities, and private organizations to help build their own technology-driven transportation networks. It operates in partnership with over 400 local governments across more than 20 countries globally, including the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Israel, Germany, France, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Japan, Brazil, Indonesia, Finland, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, and the United Arab Emirates.

Navya is a French company specialized in the design and construction of autonomous and electric vehicles.

DriveOhio

DriveOhio is an initiative within the Ohio Department of Transportation that aims to organize and accelerate smart vehicle and connected vehicle projects in the State of Ohio. It offers to be the single point of contact for policy makers, agencies, researchers, and private companies to collaborate with one another on smart transportation efforts around the state.

Scioto Mile Park in Columbus, Ohio

The Scioto Mile is a collection of parks and trails along both banks of the Scioto River in Columbus, Ohio, connecting parts of the Scioto Greenway Trail with downtown Columbus and Franklinton. The nine parks cover 145 acres (59 ha).

Public transit in Columbus, Ohio Overview of public transportation in Columbus, Ohio

Public transit has taken numerous forms in Columbus, the largest city and capital of Ohio. Transit has variously used passenger trains, horsecars, streetcars, interurbans, trolley coaches, and buses. Current service is through the Central Ohio Transit Authority's bus system, numerous intercity bus companies, and through bikeshare, rideshare, and electric scooter services.

CMAX Bus rapid transit line in Columbus, Ohio

CMAX is a bus rapid transit (BRT) service in Central Ohio, operated by the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA). The line begins in Downtown Columbus, traveling northeast to Westerville. CMAX is Central Ohio's first bus rapid transit line; it began operation in 2018.

Campus Area Bus Service Public transportation system at Ohio State University

Campus Area Bus Service (CABS) is a free public transportation system at the Ohio State University's Columbus campus. The system consists of five bus routes that connect various points of Ohio State's campus, and the immediate off-campus area. The system connects with the Central Ohio Transit Authority's bus routes at several points.

References

  1. "Frequently Asked Questions | SmartColumbus". Smart Columbus.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Namigadde, Adora. "Smart Columbus On A Mission: Invest In Technology People Aren't Using Yet". radio.wosu.org.
  3. 1 2 "Three Cities Use Smart City Concepts to Improve Transportation". www.govtech.com.
  4. 1 2 "Electric vehicle sales in central Ohio exceeded Smart Columbus grant goal". dispatch.com. Retrieved 2020-11-10.
  5. 1 2 3 4 "Columbus relaunches self-driving shuttle for food delivery - Cities Today - Connecting the world's urban leaders". cities-today.com. Retrieved 2020-11-10.
  6. 1 2 3 4 5 "Columbus Has One Year to Make Its Transportation 'Smart'". governing.com. Retrieved 2020-11-10.
  7. 1 2 3 "Columbus' Experience Center Branches Out to Include Smart City Tech". www.govtech.com.
  8. "Why Columbus Won the Smart City Challenge". governing.com. Retrieved 2020-11-10.
  9. Lee, Michael. "Smart Columbus Center Opens Saturday With Downtown Block Party". radio.wosu.org.
  10. "We Took A Ride In Columbus' First Driverless Shuttles | WOSU Radio". radio.wosu.org. Retrieved 2020-11-10.
  11. "www.dispatch.com/news/20200224/smart-columbus-halts-self-driving-shuttle-test-after-unplanned-stop". dispatch.com. Retrieved 2020-11-10.