SMOOTH II (City of Columbus)

SMOOTH II (City of Columbus)


Our second autonomous vehicle pilot will build upon the “lessons learned” from our 2015 “First Mile/Last Mile” study and will have (a) a demonstration using a street legal neighborhood electric vehicle with on-demand ordering capability, (b) a pilot operation in a chosen pedestrian area on the OSU main campus, (c) demonstration of socially acceptable collision avoidance


The population of Central Ohio is projected to increase by over 500,000 by 2050. Planning and developing a smart regional transportation system is an important challenge and issue to be addressed. The Ohio State University campus is an excellent testbed to try new modes of transportation like on-demand automated shuttles. These on-demand automated shuttles will also work in pedestrian zones in campuses like the Ohio State University campus. Automated shuttles operating close to large pedestrian groups creates the important problem of socially acceptable collision avoidance with pedestrian groups.

Major Requirements:

We will continue to develop the technical expertise and build the required relationships/partnerships with the private sector, at OSU, other academic and research entities, and with state and federal organizations. We will also sponsor legislation that will be necessary for future pilots and implementations to occur beyond the Ohio State University core campus.
We estimate a base budget for the SMOOTH(2) “Proof of Concept” pilot at $300,000 to $400,000 with a cost-sharing approach between government and industry.
If we are awarded the USDOT $40M “Smart City Challenge” we may increase the scope of the pilot deployment in the Ohio State University campus.

Performance Targets/ Key Performance Indicators (KPIs):

A 20% increase in use of automated electric vehicles in transportation and a reduction of CO2 tons of emissions.
Calculations will be made based on one electric vehicle we automate and will use to replace a fossil fuel powered vehicle. This impact will be extrapolated to the number of automated electric vehicles that the City of Columbus plans to implement in its Smart City Challenge proposal plan.

Measurement Methods:

Measurement will be based on the usage of a fossil fueled vehicle in the OSU campus route(s) chosen for the pilot test.


We will be compatible with the National Architecture and interconnect to multiple transportation venues accordingly.

Replicability, Scalability, and Sustainability:

Our solution will be based on model based design for ease of replicability, scalability and sustainability.

Project Impacts:

Safely deploying electric, autonomous vehicles will have a significant impact on lowering CO2 emissions and radically transform the global transportation system.
We will be providing a first-mile and last-mile solution to the residents of the Ohio State University campus (replicable in the city and elsewhere).

Demonstration/Deployment Phases:
Phase I Pilot/Demonstration June 2016:

A proof-of-concept AV demo in the Ohio State University campus is planned. New legislation allowing autonomous vehicle testing in the state of Ohio has passed. We are working on how it will affect university campus deployments as the university is not a manufacturer.

Phase II Pilot/Demonstration June 2017:
A proof-of-concept demo deployment in a pedestrian only zone of the Ohio State University campus is planned. Socially acceptable collision avoidance will be demonstrated.

Project milestone


Idea Complete
Prototype Complete
In Development