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Smart City Winner: Columbus Ohio with Honda connected cars & Partnership Support

columbusmapColumbus, Ohio was named the winner of the USDOT’s Smart City Challenge. The city won a $50 million grant. The Columbus Partnership is contributing $90 million from local companies. Federal officials will be in Columbus on Thursday to make the announcement.

“This grant will help meet the transportation needs of Ohioans who live in the low-income neighborhoods in and around Columbus to ensure they can get to their job, or receive a good education,” Sen. Rob Portman said in a statement.

One of the major reasons Columbus won is that money will used to help improve Columbus’ infant mortality rate due to better transportation for expectant mothers in poor neighborhoods.

In early June, Honda announced its support for Columbus. Columbus is approximately 30 miles from Honda’s  largest manufacturing base and research center.

Honda has worked with Ohio State University for mobility innovations. Honda will support testing of autonomous and connected vehicles in Ohio by launching a comprehensive Connected Car effort along State Route 33 between Columbus and East Liberty, where vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to- infrastructure (V2I) connections can be effectively analyzed.

Honda reported it will work with data integration, autonomous vehicles, connected vehicles, and implementing advanced sensors and cameras at intersections. Honda also pledged to make available a number of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles for the city, including the Fit EV and Clarity Plug-In Hybrid an work onVehicle/Grid Integration.

The Smart City Challenge is awarded to the city (population of 200,000 to 850,000) that  demonstrated the best vision for how advanced data, applications, and intelligent transportation systems (ITS) technologies can be used.

Other cities that were finalists were Austin, Denver, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Portland and San Francisco.

Columbus’s application noted that it would work on improving intelligent transportation system for

  • Access to Jobs – Autonomous vehicle deployment from a transit center to area employers.
  • Smart Logistics – Making real-time traffic conditions and routing data readily available in the form of a smartphone application for truck drivers.
  • Connected Visitors – Providing real-time information to visitors regarding traffic and parking conditions as well as transit optionsl
  • Connected Citizens – Examining mobility challenges in underserved neighborhoods to increase job opportunities by providing personal transit service offerings.
  • Sustainable Transportation – Expanding the infrastructure for refueling/recharging of alternate-fuel vehicles and investigating ways to encourage further use of electric vehicles in the city.