Ohio Department of Transportation Automated Vehicle Shuttle Service


Seeking proposals from technology partners to deploy, operate, and maintain an automated vehicle (AV) shuttle service under a one-year agreement with ODOT.The objective of this request for proposal to form a public-private partnership (P3) is to conduct approximately two months of vehicle testing before commencing ten months of passenger service. The Selected Proposer shall be responsible for the development of project management documents, ongoing vehicle/fleet operations, and maintenance and service for the vehicles.

RFP Summary

Smart Columbus aims to deploy and evaluate automated shuttles against a series of use cases in a series of pilots commissioned by the City of Columbus, OSU, Columbus Partnership, and DriveOhio. The proposed technology solution involves vehicles that are automated, and preferably electric and connected, serving members of the public on short transit trips typically less than a mile. The first AV pilot of the series aims to provide a shuttle service to help circulate people within a developing area adjacent to Downtown Columbus. Operations of the fleet will be similar to that of a traditional transit service, with pre-determined routes and signed stops along the routes for passengers to board and alight. The success of this project will be looked at as a guide for potential deployment of future AV routes in other parts of Columbus, by providing justification for their use in similar environments.


The results of this project will be used to inform the following overall goals:
• Establish a common data exchange interface that is interoperable across various deployment locations and vehicle vendors.
• Establish guidelines for procurement, including demonstrated vehicle performance and data sharing requirements.
• Develop a set of AV operational testing and evaluation guidelines to benchmark AVs.
• Develop a methodology for evaluating the operational safety of the system in various deployment settings

Tangible Work Products / Scope of Work

Prior to vehicle delivery:
• Project Plan (including a schedule that outlines the timeline for all future deliverables)
• Site Assessment (including an Infrastructure Improvement Plan that reflects the description of modifications included in the proposal)
• Safety Management Plan (including risks and mitigation strategies)
• Data Interface Plan

Prior to start of operational testing period:
• Test Plan
• Service Plan (including Standard Operating Procedures)
• Operator Training Plan

Prior to start of passenger service period:
• Test Report
• Marketing and Education Plan
• Communications and Engagement Plan (including ensuring coordination with larger Smart Columbus Program Communications)

Throughout project:
• Data to support transit information provision and vehicle performance reporting
• Passenger survey responses (survey will be provided by OSU)

• An educational rider experience for students, residents, and visitors who want to experience the technology as an extension of their visit at COSI or the Smart Columbus Experience Center
• A link for residents and visitors to travel between COSI, Veterans Memorial, Smart Columbus Experience Center, Bicentennial Park, and other area attractions
• A shuttle for Smart Columbus Experience Center and Bicentennial Park visitors who park near COSI and Veterans Memorial
• Connections to nearby transit services offered by COTA

Beneficial Links / Documents cited in RFP/ Specifications
• Executive Order 2018-04K. It is the intent of this RFP that the Proposers comply with the Executive Order and meet or exceed its intent where applicable.

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