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Ohio State helps Columbus advance in Smart City Challenge

The City of Columbus has been selected as one of seven finalists for the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Smart City Challenge. Mobility experts at The Ohio State University are playing key roles in the city’s bid for $50 million in funding and to become the nation’s epicenter of advanced transportation infrastructure research and development.

Announced at the South by Southwest conference, the competition considered more than 75 applications from mid-sized U.S. cities (pop. 200,000-850,000) outlining their plans for integrating technology as they modernize and advance their infrastructure systems in a way that makes transportation easier, safer, and more reliable. Each of the seven finalists—Columbus, Austin, Denver, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Portland, San Francisco—will receive $100,000 to further develop their plans for the final presentation.

The City of Columbus’ proposal includes formation of a Smart City Program Office, representing a partnership between Columbus, Ohio State, Central Ohio Transit Authority, Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, the Ohio Department of Transportation and private sector partners.

“The Ohio State University has been working with the City of Columbus on every element of the bid,” said Carla Bailo, assistant vice president for mobility research and business development at Ohio State.  “We are applying our leadership in the development of connected and autonomous vehicles, as well as transportation systems and human behavior.”

Bailo and Joanna Pinkerton, Ohio State’s co-director of the Honda/OSU Partnership, are coordinating involvement among university centers and affiliates, including the Center for Automotive Research, Transportation Research Center, the Center for Urban and Regional Analysis, and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, among others. The university’s existing partnerships with mobility companies and vehicle manufacturers, industry groups and government agencies contribute to the city’s comprehensive approach.

The winning city, which will be announced in June, will be awarded up to $40 million from the federal government to implement bold, data-driven ideas that make transportation safer, easier, and more reliable. Additionally, Paul G. Allen’s Vulcan Inc., has announced its intent to award up to $10 million to the challenge winner to support electric vehicle deployment and other carbon emission reduction strategies.

“Improving access to jobs, the efficient movement of goods and increased access to services is critical to the sustained growth and prosperity of the Columbus region,” said Columbus Mayor Andrew J. Ginther. “Columbus neighborhoods, new Americans, disadvantaged residents and visitors to the region will all benefit from a smarter, safer and more accessible community.”

The Columbus application has received broad, bi-partisan support from more than 100 public agencies, elected officials, suburban communities, non-profits, social services, economic development entities, and a range of private sector companies. For more information on the city’s application, click here.

Reposted from the website of the College of Engineering.

Tags: Research