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CAR launches “Smart Mobile Operation: Ohio State Transportation Hub” research project, showcases at Global Cities Team Challenge in Washington, D.C.

Researchers at the Center for Automotive Research have launched a new project with implications for future transportation. Titled the Smart Mobile Operation: Ohio State Transportation Hub (SMOOTH) project, the initiative aims to optimize city transportation methods with on-demand automated shuttle driving.  The project is in collaboration with city of Columbus, which has been recognized as a Top7 Intelligent Communities of the Year for the past three years.

CAR researchers demonstrate a route on which the vehicles will carry passengers to campus bus stops.Partially supported by an award from the National Science Foundation, CAR researchers are working to develop components of a smart city in which all individuals have access to multiple choices of transportation. As they initialize the pilot project on The Ohio State University’s campus, researchers are developing a closed circuit of automated shuttle driving within Columbus' central campus, in addition to a facilitated connection between two outer-campus stops.

With the development of these smartphone-compatible transit systems, CAR researchers aim to provide passengers—especially those with limited mobility—greater transportation choice when moving between their initial and final points of travel, often termed “first mile, last mile” issue. In a successful, real-world execution, such projects are expected to create more jobs, optimize public transit efficiency, and reduce the number of driver-related accidents, traffic jams and high fuel emissions in smart cities.

The pilot project will function with a mobile application.Other CAR smart city endeavors include connected vehicle technology, environmentally conscious efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, collision avoidance and social acceptance of automated vehicles, the last two also supported by the National Science Foundation. Center researchers are beginning work with a number of architects and civil engineers to implement their ideas, and their work has contributed to operations conducted by Nationwide Insurance, city of Columbus, Ohio Department of Transportation and state of Ohio, to name a few.

To present their current initiatives with the SMOOTH project, CAR researchers will attend the Global Cities Team Challenge Festival in Washington, D.C. on June 1. In doing so, they will join the ranks of researchers who are striving to develop smart city solutions on a national basis. The festival provides CAR researchers the chance to collaborate with organizations that also strive to develop city-life solutions within a number of technological contexts.


About the Center for Automotive Research
The Center for Automotive Research (CAR) is an interdisciplinary research center in The Ohio State University’s College of Engineering. CAR research focuses on: energy, safety and the environment aimed at improving sustainable mobility. CAR offers state-of-the-art facilities for students, faculty, research staff and industry partners. With a concentration on preparing the next generation of automotive leaders, CAR is recognized for: interdisciplinary emphasis on systems engineering, advanced and unique experimental facilities, collaboration on advanced product development projects with industry and a balance of government and privately sponsored research.

About the Global Cities Team Challenge Festival
The Global City Teams Challenge (GCTC) is a collaborative network of project teams, or “action clusters,” working on innovative applications of Internet of Things (IoT) technologies within a smart city / smart community environment. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and US Ignite have teamed-up with the Department of Transportation (DoT), National Science Foundation (NSF), International Trade Administration (ITA), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Department of Energy (DoE) to create the Global City Teams Challenge to advance practical applications of the latest research in cyberphysical systems To learn more about the festival, visit their website at