With its involvement announced just before US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx revealed the winner, the final partner to join the US Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Smart City Challenge has committed to providing the winning city, Columbus, Ohio, with vehicle-to-everything (V2X) technologies that will be integrated into intelligent transportation systems.
German automotive group Continental has offered its services to the winner of the Challenge, a competition that will create the USA’s first-of-its-kind fully integrated city that uses data, technology and creativity to shape how people and goods move in the future. Under the partnership, Continental will offer the winning city of Columbus US$1m worth of hardware and labor for the deployment of ‘smart intersection’ systems using its V2X, which will fully integrate with other innovative technologies. As part of its commitment, Continental will provide advanced sensing, vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2X) communication technology to increase traffic safety at intersections and provide a platform for intelligent transportation systems of the future. As the Smart City Challenge winner, Columbus will be the country’s first city to fully integrate innovative technologies, such as self-driving cars, connected vehicles and smart sensors, into its transportation network.
Launched by Foxx in December 2015, the Challenge was instigated in response to the trends identified in the Beyond Traffic draft report, which revealed that the USA’s aging infrastructure is not equipped to deal with a dramatically growing population in many regions across the country. The report also identified a need to increase mobility options in the developing mega-regions, specifically mid-sized cities. USDOT has been working with Columbus and the other six finalist cities to connect them with private, public and non-profit partnerships that will support their final proposals with technical assistance. In addition to Continental, other Challenge partners include: launch partner Paul G Allen’s Vulcan Inc, cloud partner Amazon Web Services, Mobileye, Autodesk, Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs, NXP, AT&T and DC Solar.
Continental says that the partnership will further demonstrate that connected vehicle technology, and its safety, mobility, and environmental benefits, are ready for deployment. “At Continental, safety is at the cornerstone of everything that we do. That is why we are proud to join the USDOT’s national Smart City Challenge as a key provider of active safety technology and secure connectivity to help advance the development of future mobility services, such as automated driving infrastructure solutions, Intelligent Transportation Systems and V2X technology,” said Samir Salman, CEO of Continental North America. “The Smart City Challenge aligns with our company’s mission of Vision Zero, which is our goal to globally eliminate traffic and road fatalities, making mobility safer, more convenient and more efficient for everyone.”
Announcing Continental’s involvement, Foxx commented, “This competition has transformed major US cities into critically needed laboratories of innovation with the potential to solve transportation challenges that prioritize safety, innovation and equity that exist nationwide. By fostering creative collaboration, this announcement and the existing precedent-setting public-private partnerships, will strengthen the winning city’s ability to bring their bold visions to life.”