City of Columbus completes five-year Smart Columbus program

June 7, 2021

Program included Ohio’s first automated vehicle deployment on public streets

The City of Columbus recently completed its five-year Smart Columbus program, which aimed to demonstrate how an intelligent transportation system and equitable access to transportation can have positive impacts on everyday challenges faced by cities. 

HNTB was part of the Smart Columbus team from its early stages, supporting the city in developing its winning final application for the $40 million U.S. DOT Smart City Challenge. After winning the challenge, the city awarded HNTB a four-year ITS program management and program initialization contract to help deliver Smart Columbus. 

“The Smart Columbus program proved to be a springboard to innovation,” Diane Newton, HNTB program manager, said in a statement. “We saw community leaders rally around Columbus’ emergence as a smart city. Also, the project created a replicable playbook that other cities may build upon to have similar effects across the nation."

Over the course of the project, HNTB filled many roles and services for the City of Columbus as part of the Smart Columbus program including project management; systems engineering; installation planning and communications; development of the operating system; performance measurement; policy, coordination, and communications; and data management and privacy.

Smart Columbus program included Ohio’s first automated vehicle deployment on public streets; a multimodal transportation planning app that has been downloaded more than 1,000 times; improvements to a parking management app that has been downloaded more than 30,000 times; and an operating system that is built largely on open-source software, and it is easy and cost-effective for other cities to implement, HNTB says.

The Smart Columbus program was led by the City of Columbus in partnership with The Columbus Partnership, the Ohio Department of Transportation, Franklin County Commissioners, Franklin County Engineer’s Office, The Ohio State University, American Electric Power, and many others.