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May 15th, 2020

Smart Columbus’ Response to NHTSA’s Return to Service Plan for Linden LEAP

COLUMBUS, OHSmart Columbus has concluded its review of the Feb. 20 incident in which a Linden LEAP vehicle traveling at 7.1 miles per hour came to a sudden stop, causing a passenger to slip to the floor.

Sudden stops in autonomous vehicles can be caused by a multitude of factors, some of which are not apparent to the eye. The Feb. 20 incident was triggered by a slight deviation in the steering of the shuttle. Other factors, such as small or unseen objects in the vehicle’s path, weight distribution, or road conditions also can cause the vehicle to brake.

Smart Columbus is working with our partners to make adjustments that would reduce – but not entirely prevent – sudden stops. Smart Columbus supports the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s additional safety enhancements including providing seatbelts and additional passenger instruction. With these enhancements, every passenger can be confident we’ve done everything in our power to ensure their ride is safe.

Smart Columbus will follow guidelines set forth by the State and City regarding COVID-19 and those impacts on the Linden LEAP’s return to service.  We will be regularly assessing based on the current state of affairs when it is prudent to return to service and continue piloting self-driving technology in a neighborhood to connect Linden residents to needed community resources. The safety of our passengers and the public will continue to be our top priority.

For service updates, visit lindenleap.com. More details on the Feb 20th incident and subsequent actions, click here.

About Smart Columbus

The City of Columbus’ Smart Columbus plan won the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) $40 million Smart City Challenge in June 2016 after competing against 77 cities nationwide to become the country’s first city to fully integrate innovative technologies – self- driving cars, connected vehicles and smart sensors – into its transportation network. Columbus was also awarded an additional $10 million grant from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation to accelerate the transition to an electrified, low-emissions transportation system. Aligned investments totaling more than $720 million have been made by the private, public and academic institutions in the region to support technology and infrastructure investments that upgrade Columbus' transportation network and help make Columbus the model connected city of the future. Smart Columbus is a regional smart city initiative co-led by the City of Columbus and Columbus Partnership that includes partnerships with The Ohio State University, Battelle, American Electric Power and many more.

For more information, visit smart.columbus.gov.

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