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City of Columbus Named US DOT’s 2016 Smart City Challenge Winner and Awarded $50 million for Future Transportation System Plans

On Thursday June 23, 2016, US DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx announced Columbus, Ohio as the 2016 Smart City Challenge Winner during a press conference hosted in the winning city. Columbus will be awarded over $50 million in funding and technology to build their transportation system of the future which will include the Mobileye Shield+ Collision Avoidance Systems for Columbus transit (COTA) buses.

Queens, NY – Columbus, Ohio was officially named the Smart City Challenge winner on June 23, 2016 beating out the other six finalists. The announcement was made by US DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx during a press conference held in the winning city along with Columbus Mayor, Andrew Ginther. During the press conference, a “smart city” displaying many of the technologies provided by the Smart City Challenge corporate partners gave attendees a sneak peek of what’s to come for the future of Columbus’ transportation system. Among these new technologies, the Mobileye Shield+ Collision Avoidance System installed on the Rosco Vision Quest bus exhibited the latest in pedestrian and cyclist safety technology.

The Shield+ technology, offered by New York State manufacturer, Rosco, Inc., through a partnership with Mobileye, utilizes smart vision cameras in and around the bus designed to prevent collisions between vehicles and vulnerable road users (VRUs), like pedestrians and cyclists. The Mobileye Shield+ System is designed to help drivers and act as their third eye where obstructions cause blind zones around large vehicles. VRUs often are not seen by the bus operator due to blind spots, especially when making turns on busy city streets. Bus operating conditions on congested, urban streets demand the highest level of awareness by the vehicle operator. Shield+ increases awareness and safety for the driver and VRUs around the bus to prevent collisions.

The Vision Quest Bus equipped with the Shield+ System, was designed as a mobile “classroom” and demonstration bus to give a firsthand experience of how the Shield+ technology works in a real, urban environment. The bus has toured around the nation including stops at the NYS Capitol Building in Albany, NHTSA and the US Capitol Building in Washington DC, Mcity in Michigan, and many other locations hosting informational sessions and Ride & Drive events, the latest being Columbus, OH for the Smart City winner announcement. Attendees of the conference were able to learn about the Shield+ technology and view the actual system on the bus. Among the Vision Quest visitors, US DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx and Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther stopped in to view the technology that would soon be seen on the Columbus transit city buses.