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Columbus, Ohio, region boosts smart mobility research

Matt Hamblen | Feb. 21, 2017
Ohio State University expects to test driverless cars on campus next year

Carla Bailo, OSU assistant vice president for mobility research, said the university expects to marry sound city and regional planning principles with smart tech innovations and policies. One focus will be on helping the Linden community, a low-income neighborhood in Columbus, with autonomous shuttles to help residents gain access to jobs and health care.

"A smart city uses data and technology to improve people's lives," Bailo said. "If you're not improving lives, then you're deploying technology and data for the fun of it."

OSU faculty from urban planning and regional analysis disciplines were involved in winning the DOT Smart City Challenge, she said. "Their role is primarily to determine the public benefit as we deploy technology and gather and analyze data," she said. "Behaviorial scientists, public policy and College of Law are all involved. It is very holistic."

OSU combines computer engineering and city and regional planning, as well as landscape and architecture, within the single entity of its College of Engineering. The college has hired 40 faculty and staff in data analytics in the past two years to help promote connections across academic disciplines, Williams said.

"Data is of no use unless you store it and mine it and apply it in research, and ultimately put it to use back on the road," he said.


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