Siemens' Donation to 'Smart Columbus' Effort Intended as Connected Vehicle Foundation

The company's investment will enable vehicles to communicate with traffic infrastructure.

by Tim Feran, The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio / May 12, 2017

(TNS) --Siemens is providing an in-kind donation that includes connected vehicle hardware and software technologies to Columbus as part of the "Smart Columbus" program.

Siemens' investment is valued at $385,000 and is intended to act as the foundation for the city's future connected vehicle efforts, enabling vehicles to communicate with traffic infrastructure, advancements that are expected to improve driver and pedestrian safety, reduce congestion and lower emissions.

The investment is by Siemens Intelligent Traffic Systems business unit, which is part of the Siemens Mobility Division of Siemens Corp., a U.S. subsidiary of Munich-based Siemens AG, an international conglomerate focusing on the areas of electrification, automation and digitalization.

Connected vehicles can have a big impact on safety, helping to prevent or mitigate 80 percent of unimpaired crashes, according to the Department of Transportation.

Last year, Columbus won the U.S. Department of Transportation $40 million Smart City Challenge after competing against 77 cities nationwide to implement a vision for how technology can help all residents move more easily and to access opportunity. Columbus was also awarded a $10 million grant from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the de-carbonization of the electric supply and transportation sectors.

"Investments from partners allow us to do more with the $50 million in Smart City Challenge dollars from the U.S. Department of Transportation and Paul G. Allen," said Michael Stevens, chief innovation officer for the city of Columbus.

Connected vehicle systems are able to communicate between vehicles and infrastructure and give drivers suggestions in real time about such things as speed recommendations, curve speed warnings or giving priority to car-sharing or electric vehicles, said Marcus Welz, CEO of Siemens intelligent traffic systems division in North America..

"With this connected vehicle technology, infrastructure like intersections and streetlights will have the ability to communicate with vehicles, buses or even pedestrians to help drivers make decisions that can reduce congestion and increase safety," Welz said.

©2017 The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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