Honda Supports Columbus, Ohio’s Bid to Win US Smart City Challenge
Today Honda announced its endorsement of the “Smart Columbus Plan,” a proposal put forth by the city of Columbus, Ohio, to win the US Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Smart City Challenge. Honda, which bases its North American manufacturing operations in central Ohio, has also pledged to partner with Columbus in a variety of transportation innovations, including a comprehensive Connected Car effort.
Columbus is one of just seven finalists for the Smart City Challenge, and the winning city will be awarded $40 million for demonstrating the best vision for how advanced data, applications, and intelligent transportation systems technologies can be used.
“Columbus is an ideal place to explore new ideas and new solutions to improve the future of mobility and we stand in full support of the Smart Columbus Plan,” said Honda executive Rick Schostek. “We believe this is a strong plan with strong partners that will advance transportation and the many social and economic advantages that excellent transportation can bring to a community.”
Honda’s lengthy partnership with Ohio State University has already produced a number of mobility innovations, and the automaker has also pledged to support the study of autonomous and connected vehicles by launching a comprehensive Connected Car effort along Ohio’s State Route 33 between Columbus and East Liberty, to analyze vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to- infrastructure (V2I) connections.
Should Columbus win the US DOT’s Smart City Challenge, Honda says that it plans to be especially engaged with data integration, autonomous vehicles, connected vehicles, and implementing advanced sensors and cameras at intersections. Honda has also promised to make many electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles available to the city, including the Fit EV and the upcoming Clarity Plug-In Hybrid, and will advise on EV charging requirements.
Other finalists for the Smart Cities grant include Austin, Denver, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Portland, and San Francisco. The US DOT is expected to name the winning city in June 2016.