Honda Endorses Columbus Bid to Win U.S. Smart City Challenge Central Ohio automaker to partner on several initiatives
Jun 7, 2016 - MARYSVILLE, Ohio
Honda today announced its enthusiastic support for the "Smart Columbus Plan," the effort by the city of Columbus, Ohio to win the U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT) Smart City Challenge. Honda is also pledging to partner with Columbus through a number of transportation innovations, including a comprehensive Connected Car effort.
Columbus is one of seven finalists for the inaugural Smart City Challenge that will award $40 million to the city (population of 200,000 to 850,000) that can demonstrate the best vision for how advanced data, applications, and intelligent transportation systems (ITS) technologies can be used.
Columbus is approximately 30 miles from Honda's first and largest manufacturing base in the United States and the North American hub for the company's significant research and development operations.
"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 Rick Schostek, executive vice president of Honda North America, Inc. "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 has a long partnership with The Ohio State University that already has led to a number of mobility innovations, including in the safety arena. Furthermore, the automaker has pledged to support the study of autonomous and connected vehicles in Ohio by launching a comprehensive Connected Car effort along State Route 33 between Columbus and East Liberty, where vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to- infrastructure (V2I) connections can be effectively analyzed.
If Columbus is named as the U.S. DOT's Smart City, Honda plans to be particularly engaged with data integration, autonomous vehicles, connected vehicles, and implementing advanced sensors and cameras at intersections. Additionally, Honda has pledged to make available a number of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles for the city, including the Fit EV and the soon to be released Clarity Plug-In Hybrid, as well as advise on EV charging requirements and spearhead the application of vehicle charging and electric utility and renewable generator coordination (Vehicle/Grid Integration).
Columbus was named as a finalist for the Smart Cities grant in March of this year, joining Austin, Denver, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Portland, and San Francisco. The winning city is expected to be named by the U.S. DOT in June 2016.
The application submitted for the DOT grant highlighted five strategies in which the Ohio capital city would advance its intelligent transportation systems, including:
- Access to Jobs – Autonomous vehicle deployment from a transit center to area employers
- Smart Logistics – Making real-time traffic conditions and routing data readily available in the form of a smartphone application for truck drivers
- Connected Visitors – Providing real-time information to visitors regarding traffic and parking conditions as well as transit options
- Connected Citizens – Examining mobility challenges in underserved neighborhoods to increase job opportunities by providing personal transit service offerings
- Sustainable Transportation – Expanding the infrastructure for refueling/recharging of alternate-fuel vehicles and investigating ways to encourage further use of electric vehicles in the city.
About Honda Safety Innovation
Honda has a long history of leadership in the development and application of advanced technologies designed to enhance the safety of all road users, including automobile occupants, motorcycle riders and pedestrians. The company operates two of the world's most sophisticated crash test facilities, in Ohio and Japan, and is responsible for numerous pioneering efforts in the areas of crashworthiness, collision compatibility and pedestrian safety.
American Honda has 10 IIHS top-rated vehicles: 9 Top Safety Pick Plus (TSP+) and 1 Top Safety Pick (TSP) and is broadly deploying advanced technologies on its vehicles including Honda Sensing™, which is available on core models including 2016 CR-V, Pilot, Accord and Civic, and soon the 2017 Ridgeline, Odyssey and Clarity Fuel Cell. AcuraWatch™ is now available on all 2016/2017 Acura sedans and SUVs and will be standard on all grades of the restyled and the refreshed 2017 MDX. Honda intends to put highly automated driving technologies to practical use on U.S. highways by 2020.
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