January 17th, 2018
Smart Columbus Announces Self-Driving Shuttle Route In Linden
Smart Columbus’ second deployment of self-driving technology will connect Linden residents with community resources
COLUMBUS, Ohio, January 17, 2018 – Today, Smart Columbus announced that Linden will be the next neighborhood to benefit from a self-driving shuttle, which will serve as a first mile/last mile solution connecting residents to community resources. Funded by the Smart City Challenge grant awarded to Columbus by the U.S. Department of Transportation, the free shuttle will transport riders between St. Stephens Community House, Douglas Community Recreation Center, Rosewind Resident Council and the Linden Transit Center.
In February 2017 during the Connect Linden Innovation workshop, the Smart Columbus team heard Linden residents voice the need for improved access to key community assets such as St. Stephens Community House and the Linden Transit Center. Smart Columbus researched the practical and technical feasibility of four routes linking community resources, and determined this route stood to be a safe and useful application of self-driving vehicle technology.
“Linden residents spoke and we listened. The addition of a self-driving shuttle route in Linden will not only connect residents with vital community resources, it will be a great opportunity to pilot and learn about the technology in a neighborhood setting,” said Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther.
“We’re excited to partner with Smart Columbus and make it easier for our neighbors to access programs like our food and nutrition center, youth-focused programming and PrimaryOne’s Health Center,” said Marilyn Mehaffie, CEO of St. Stephen’s Community House.
This announcement is made on the heels of a successful launch of Ohio’s first self-driving shuttle, Smart Circuit, which transported more than 2,400 passengers during December 2018. Engineers, researchers and policymakers from Smart Columbus, DriveOhio and The Ohio State University are using data and rider feedback from the Smart Circuit demonstration to inform the operation of the Linden route. Residents and partners are encouraged to ride Smart Circuit to experience self-driving vehicle technology firsthand, to start to envision how self-driving vehicle technology may improve our lives in the future.
Smart Columbus is seeking a transportation provider to service the new Linden route. The Request for Proposal will be accessible here later today. A shuttle provider is anticipated to be selected in Spring 2019 with the shuttle anticipated to begin serving the Linden community in November 2019.
About Smart Columbus
The City of Columbus’ Smart Columbus plan won the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) $40 million Smart City Challenge in June 2016 after competing against 77 cities nationwide to become the country’s first city to fully integrate innovative technologies – self- driving cars, connected vehicles and smart sensors – into its transportation network. Columbus was also awarded an additional $10 million grant from the Paul G. Allen Philanthropies to accelerate the transition to an electrified, low-emissions transportation system. Aligned investments totaling more than $500 million have been made by the private, public and academic institutions in the region to support technology and infrastructure investments that upgrade Columbus' transportation network and help make Columbus the model connected city of the future. Smart Columbus is a regional smart city initiative co-led by the City of Columbus and Columbus Partnership that includes partnerships with The Ohio State University, Battelle, American Electric Power and many more.
For more information, visit www.smart.columbus.gov.