COLUMBUS, Ohio—Continental North America is pledging at least $1 million to Columbus—the winner of the U.S. Department of Transportation's Smart City Challenge—to foster improved safety and connectivity technology to the city's transportation network.
As part of its commitment, Continental will provide advanced sensing, vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2X) communication technology to increase traffic safety at intersections and provide a platform for intelligent transportation systems of the future.
The Smart City Challenge is a competition designed to promote the creation of a fully integrated city that uses data, technology and creativity to shape how people and goods move in the future.
DOT pledged up to $40 million to the winning city to help it implement its vision; this will be supplemented by up to $10 million from Paul Allen's Vulcan Inc. to enhance $90 million that the city already has raised from other private partners to carry out its plan.
“At Continental, safety is at the cornerstone of everything we do,” said Samir Salman, CEO of Continental North America. “That is why we are proud to join the U.S. DOT'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 led by our Silicon Valley team and V2X technology.
“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."
The DOT launched the Smart City Challenge last December in response to the trends identified in the agency's “Beyond Traffic” draft report.
As the winning city, Columbus was cited for a proposal that puts people first, according to DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx. The city's plan includes street-side mobility kiosks, a new bus-rapid transit system and “smart lighting” to increase safety for pedestrians and improve access to health care for traditionally underserved areas and neighborhoods.
Other finalists out of the 78 cities that submitted applications were: Austin, Texas; Denver; Kansas City, Mo.; Pittsburgh; Portland, Ore.; and San Francisco.
"This competition has transformed major U.S. cities into critically needed laboratories of innovation with the potential to solve transportation challenges that prioritize safety, innovation and equity that exist nationwide," Foxx said.
"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."
Seval Oz, CEO of Continental's Intelligent Transportation Systems based in Silicon Valley, added: "The Smart City Challenge is a historic moment in the future of mobility. It is an exciting venture that requires tremendous private and public sector collaboration.”