Between now and March 2021, the city of Columbus, Ohio will trial three smart mobility pilot projects. The Smart Columbus regional smart city initiative will run the projects, which are funded by a US Department of Transportation grant awarded to the city as the winner of the 2016 Smart City Challenge.
The three projects are:
- The Linden LEAP shuttle – an electric, self-driving EasyMile shuttle will be used to transport pre-packaged food boxes from a food kitchen to a community center. A trained operator will be on board but no passengers. Sharad Agarwal, Senior Vice President of EasyMile, said: “We are proud to be able to show the potential of our technology and how it can be leveraged to address emerging community needs like food insecurity through the delivery of food pantry boxes;”
- new smart mobility hubs – to provide first and last-mile options to users of the city’s Bus Rapid Transit line. The hubs aggregate first mile/last mile solutions at six locations, including different combinations of conventional and e-bikes from the CoGo bike-share scheme, scooter and EV charging, ride-hail pick-up/drop off points, and dockless scooter, bike, and car-share parking. Each hub will have an IKE interactive digital kiosk providing free Wi-Fi, access to a trip planning application, community information, and an emergency call button; and,
- connected vehicle technology – 500 community volunteers, and 750 public vehicles, will have connected vehicle technology from Siemens Mobility installed in their cars. The technology will provide real-time safety alerts intended to help drivers make more informed decisions leading to improved road safety.
“Columbus won the Smart City Challenge because we had the vision and ambition to try new mobility technologies in a neighborhood to address the daily challenges residents face,” said Mayor Andrew J. Ginther. “Today, that vision comes to life. These mobility pilots in Linden will bring food to neighbors in need, connect residents to reliable and affordable mobility options, and help vehicles travel through the neighborhood more safely.”