A connected vehicle environment will allow vehicles and traffic signals to “talk” to each other, alerting drivers to potential hazards, allowing emergency vehicles to move through intersections quicker, and enabling traffic managers to adjust operations.

Connected Vehicle Environment

The Goal

Connected vehicle technology will prevent crashes, decrease emergency vehicle response time and improve bus on-time performance.

Connected Vehicle Environment


The Connected Vehicle Environment launched in October 2020 along High St. from 5th Ave to Morse Rd., along Cleveland Ave. from 2nd Ave to Morse Rd., and along Morse Rd. from High St. to Steltzer Rd., which includes intersections with the highest collision rates in the city. Additionally, along Alum Creek Dr. from SR-317 to I-270 to serve the freight corridor.

During this pilot program, devices called on-board units are installed on public and private vehicles to allow vehicles to "talk" to each other and receive in-car alerts like blind spot detection or rear-end collision warning. The on-board units also allow vehicles to talk to traffic signals and other roadway infrastructure to provide in-car alerts like red light violation warning. The alerts will give drivers advanced warning of potential hazards or safety concerns so they can slow down or take other precautionary measures. Traffic signals will give priority to connected COTA buses, which will help keep them running on time. Emergency vehicles will also get the green light, allowing them to get through intersections more safely and quickly.

Residents were invited to join the project by having onboard units installed on their private vehicles at no charge by local mechanics. Recruitment and installations occurred from July 2020 until December 2020.

While much of the project is focused on building out the physical aspects of a connected vehicle environment, data generation is just as important. Non-personally-identifiable data is ingested into the Smart Columbus Operating System to serve as a secure resource for traffic studies and other interested smart cities.

Connected Department of Transportation Emerging Tech Mobility