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A closer look at Ohio’s self-driving shuttle bus trial that’s now a food commitment service

  • Tech
  • self-driving
  • Smart city
  • mobility

A closer look at Ohio’s self-driving shuttle bus trial that’s now a food commitment service

Between now and March 2021, the city will trial smart advancement hubs for first and last-mile transport, and affiliated agent technology to boost road safety. The electric, self-driving Linden LEAP shuttle is also being recommissioned to bear food assistance, after commuter account was put on hold in February due to a braking incident.

The projects, which are run through the Smart Columbus regional smart city initiative, are funded by the US$40 actor US Department of Transportation (USDOT) grant awarded to Columbus as the winner of the 2016 Smart City Challenge.

“Columbus won the Smart City Challenge because we had the vision and appetite to try new advancement technologies in a adjacency to abode the daily challenges association face,” said Mayor Andrew J. Ginther. “Today, that vision comes to life. These advancement pilots in Linden will bring food to neighbors in need, affix association to reliable and affordable advancement options, and help cartage travel through the adjacency more safely.”

Linden LEAP

Food abetment organizations have seen a surge in demand during the pandemic. St. Stephen’s Association House in Linden, for instance, letters that in April alone, its food pantry served 959 new households, a 461 percent access over the same time last year.

An EasyMile LEAP shuttle will be used to carriage pre-packaged food boxes from St. Stephen’s Food and Nutrition Center to the Rosewind Association Center. A accomplished abettor will be on board but no passengers.

Sharad Agarwal, Senior Vice President of EasyMile, said: “We are proud to be able to show the abeyant of our technology and how it can be leveraged to abode arising association needs like food crisis through the commitment of food pantry boxes.”

The Linden LEAP buses have been out of commuter service since February following an adventure where a shuttle chock-full suddenly, consistent in a woman falling from her seat.

In May, afterward an evaluation, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) outlined conditions to lift a acting abeyance on acceptance associates of the public to ride the EZ10 shuttles. EasyMile’s Commuter Safety Enhancement plan includes adding seat belts to shuttles; increasing acquaintance about sudden stops by adding signage and audio enhancements; and training safety operators to remind cartage to hold on.

Columbus says it is consistently assessing the bearings to decide when commuter casework on the Linden LEAP may resume, based on several belief including a appeal for acknowledgment being submitted by the vendor and accustomed by NHTSA.

Smart advancement hubs

New Smart Advancement Hubs in Columbus will accommodate first and last-mile options to users of the city’s Bus Rapid Transit line. The hubs accumulated multi-modal first mile/last mile solutions at six locations, aiming to make traveling easier and more affordable. Mobility options at each hub are unique to that area and accommodate altered combinations of accustomed and e-bikes from the CoGo bike-share scheme, scooter and EV charging, ride-hail pick-up/drop off points, and dockless scooter, bike, and car-share parking.

Each hub will have an IKE alternate agenda kiosk to accommodate free Wi-Fi, access to the Pivot multi-modal trip planning application, and agenda listings of nearby restaurants, shops, activities, social casework and other resources. The kiosks also affectation association content, public account announcements and public art, and accommodate an emergency call button.

For the third pilot, Smart Columbus will trial how affiliated agent technology can advance road safety safety in the Linden area, which is home to seven of the 100 intersections that acquaintance the accomplished volume of car crashes in axial Ohio.

The city is calling for 500 association volunteers to have affiliated agent technology from Siemens Advancement installed in their cars. These will be akin by up to 750 public cartage including the City of Columbus fleet, Fire and Police vehicles, Axial Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) buses, Franklin County fleet vehicles, and ODW Logistics bales trucks.

The accessories will provide real-time safety alerts advised to help drivers make more abreast decisions. The seven-month study will assess the impact of the technology on driver safety, based on bearding data calm from cartage traveling along assertive roads.


“Siemens Advancement is proud to be part of this effort to bring the safety and claimed advancement allowances of affiliated agent technology to the drivers of Columbus,” said Marcus Welz, President of Intelligent Traffic Systems for Siemens Advancement in North America. “This is a technology which has been finer used in mega-cities like New York, or city Tampa in Florida. Columbus is a great city to take advantage of this avant-garde technology, and its adumbrative size, body and recent growth make it an ideal arrangement for other agnate cities to learn from.”

In addition, Smart Columbus is attractive for up to ten people absorbed in acceptable a Affiliated Agent Technician In-Training during the study. Participants will complete a paid training course and be placed at a local site to install the affiliated agent technology in public and clandestine vehicles.

“Advanced agent technology like connectivity is more acceptable accustomed on new vehicles,” said Columbus City Council Member and Public Account Chair, Shayla Favor. “Through this study, we hope to not only keep drivers safer on our streets, but also create an immersive training acquaintance that will help our local auto shops and technicians learn the ins and outs of this new technology with future applications in our cars and on our roadways.”

Pilot after-effects will be appear in May 2021. Assessment of the affairs will absorb abstruse data as well as survey acknowledgment from residents.

Appear August 6, 2020 — 08:22 UTC

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