A new line of low-speed, self-driving shuttle buses will begin operating in Columbus, Ohio, starting in December as part of citywide efforts to improve transportation.
The project comes from the combined work of DriveOhio, a new initiative within the Ohio Department of Transportation; Smart Columbus, an initiative focused on improving economic growth and quality of life through technological advancements; and Ohio State University.
DriveOhio’s new shuttles will operate along the Scioto Mile, allowing passengers to travel to the Smart Columbus Experience Center, COSI, the National Veterans Memorial and Museum, and Bicentennial Park.
Engineers at Ohio State’s Center for Automotive Research (CAR) have played a key role in making the project possible. This is the first major project where CAR has collaborated with DriveOhio, but the research center has already displayed its dedication to smart mobility and vehicle autonomy. Its recent projects have included the designing of new driverless vehicles as well as testing their ability to operate outside the lab.
Rolling out the smart shuttles is part of the city's commitment to develop an integrated smart transportation system, for which Columbus won the U.S. DOT's first Smart City Challenge in 2016.
The shuttles will begin accepting passengers in December of this year and are expected to continue their operations throughout 2019.
Source: The Lantern (Ohio State)