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Drivers Wanted for Smart Columbus Connected Vehicle Study

Brent Warren Brent Warren Drivers Wanted for Smart Columbus Connected Vehicle StudyThe Smart Mobility Hub at the Columbus Metropolitan Library’s Linden Branch, photo by Brent Warren.
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Officials from Smart Columbus provided an update this week on three projects that are currently moving forward in Linden, putting out a call for volunteers to assist with one of them.

The organization is actively seeking drivers – people who regularly use Cleveland Avenue in Linden, as well as parts of North High Street and Morse Road – to sign up to have connected vehicle equipment installed on their cars.

Qualified participants will receive a $15 gift card after taking an online survey, then could potentially earn as much as $315 over the course of the study.

People who are interested in participating can visit smart.columbus.gov for more information and to sign up. In addition to the drivers of private vehicles – a total five hundred participants are needed – the equipment will also be installed on 500 to 700 public vehicles, including COTA buses and city and county fleet vehicles.  

“Advanced vehicle technology like connectivity is increasingly becoming standard on new vehicles,” said Columbus City Council Member Shayla Favor, in a statement. “Through this study, we hope to not only keep drivers safer on our streets, but also create an immersive training experience that will help our local auto shops and technicians learn the ins and outs of this new technology with future applications in our cars and on our roadways.”

Smart Columbus is also touting the recent rollout of six new “Smart Mobility Hubs,” each of which features an interactive kiosk as well as a variety of transportation options, such as CoGo stations and scooter charging docks.

The hubs are now open at the following locations – Columbus State Community College, Linden Transit Center, St. Stephen’s Community House, the Columbus Metropolitan Library’s Linden Branch, COTA’s Northern Lights Park and Ride, and Easton Transit Center.

Lastly, there was an update this week about the self-driving shuttle know as the Linden Leap. The shuttle – which was shut down after a February incident in which the vehicle stopped suddenly – is now being used to transport food and face coverings from the St. Stephen’s Food and Nutrition Center to the Rosewind Estates Community Center.

Although the shuttle was cleared to operate on public roads again after a federal investigation into the incident, social distancing recommendations mean that the small vehicle can’t be used to transport anyone other than the operator.

For more information about the projects is available at smart.columbus.gov.

Scooter and bike parking are also part of the Smart Mobility Hub at the Linden Branch. Photo by Brent Warren.
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