A connected vehicle environment will allow vehicles and traffic signals to “talk” to each other, alerting drivers to potential hazards, allowing emergency vehicles to move through intersections quicker, and enabling traffic managers to adjust operations.
Connected vehicle technology will prevent crashes, decrease emergency vehicle response time and improve bus on-time performance.
The connected vehicle environment will launch in July 2020 along High St. and Cleveland Ave., north of 5th Ave. and from Morse Rd., east of High St. to Steltzer Rd., including intersections with the highest collision rates in the city.
During this pilot program, devices called “on-board units” will be installed on public and private vehicles to allow vehicles to talk to each other and receive in-car alerts like blind spot detection or rear end collision warning. The on-board units also allow vehicles to talk to traffic signals and other roadway infrastructure to provide in-car alerts like red light violation warning. The alerts will give drivers advanced warning of potential hazards or safety concerns so they can slow down or take other precautionary measures. Traffic managers will be able to adjust traffic light timing and mobilize other responses like snow and salt trucks based on real-time information on road conditions relayed by the units. Traffic lights will give priority to connected COTA buses, which will help keep them running on time. Emergency vehicles will also get the green light, allowing them to get through intersections more safely and quickly.
Residents will be invited to have onboard units installed on their private vehicles at no charge by local mechanics. Installation of the on-board units will begin in December 2019.
While much of the project is focused on building out the physical aspects of a connected vehicle environment, data generation is just as important. Non-personally-identifiable data will be ingested into the Smart Columbus Operating System to serve as a secure resource for other interested smart cities and entrepreneurs.
Columbus will join other cities in the US like Tampa, Wyoming and New York that are piloting Connected Vehicle Environment technology to measure the impact on public safety. This project will be an experiential learning process for Smart Columbus as well as mid-sized cities around the world.
Partners on this project include Central Ohio Transit Authority and City of Columbus.