I remember when the word “smart city” really started to float around the interwebs. I imagined flying cars that would somehow sense my hunger, automatically send my online order to Hot Chicken Takeover, and then arrive by drone delivery all while I sipped on a yummy latte at One Line. I know, I know. I’m such a dreamer. Fast forward to 2018 and Columbus is definitely on the smart city glow up. Equipped with generous grants, creative minds, and some of the best tech resources available, Smart Columbus is shaping our city in such a unique way. While flying cars aren’t in the sky (yet) we are making major moves with mobile technology. Welcome to the Smart Circuit y’all.

History was made this December as the first group of self-driving shuttles (Smart Circuit) hit the streets of CBUS! I grabbed a few of my pals and jumped behind the wheel – SIKE – there is no wheel! The shuttles operate autonomously, using a suite of sensors that deliver a 360-degree view around the vehicle. The sensors and intelligent software help the vehicle understand where it is; in which direction to steer; and when to slow down, accelerate, or stop for something in its path. Mapping allows the vehicle to know every inch of its route and navigate through various traffic conditions.

Each shuttle has it’s own special name!

The vehicle operator provides riders with information about the route and technology, and can take control of the vehicle at any time. This is a necessary safety precaution in case someone tries to cut the shuttle off while in traffic. Safety first good people. Whew! Don’t let all this technical stuff distract from the fact that the shuttle is FREE to ride! Yes yes y’all, there is no cost and with snazzy service destinations along the Scioto Mile, including COSI, National Veterans Memorial and Museum, Bicentennial Park and Smart Columbus Experience Center, it’s so easy to grab your friends to get with my friends to be friends on the shuttle.

Here’s a few other important dets to note:

  • The vehicle operates 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.
  • Shuttles will arrive at each stop approximately every 10 minutes. The full route takes approximately 15 minutes.
  • The vehicle, which has a maximum speed of 25 MPH, has a four-seat “campfire” configuration in the rear of the vehicle as well as a 49-inch digital display that provides system and route information. 
    • Additional information is available at www.smartcircuitcbus.com

I absolutely loved my shuttle journey. This was a great experience because it’s more than just a glance into modern technology, it’s a view into the future of self-driving vehicles. And guess what? It’s already right here in Columbus. I do believe our future is oh so very bright…all with no hands.

I’ll see you around the city soon.

#cbuslocallove This is a sponsored post.