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US city unveils operating system to address mobility challenges

The US city of Columbus has officially unveiled its new operating system that will harness transportation data that will then be utilized in order to tackle the city's ongoing issues with urban mobility.

The primary objective and goal of the Smart Columbus Operating System smart city data management platform is to able to understand and analyze data to deal with a range of very complex urban challenges within Ohio's capital city.

The cost of developing the operating system was $40m, but the city received the capital through a federal grant awarded to Columbus as the winner of the US Department of Transportation's smart city challenge.

The city's Mayor, Andrew Ginther expressed his delight at the new operating system which has been introduced - and said it represents a major leap forward in Ohio's attempts to become a leading 'smart city' in the US.

He said, "Fundamental to 'becoming smart' as a city is discovering how to use data to improve city services and quality life for residents. When we apply data to the challenges we experience as a city, we can transform outcomes in education, employment, healthcare and even access to healthy food. The initial launch of the Smart Columbus Operating System is a major milestone in our smart city journey, as we are now better able to analyze, interpret and share data that will help us solve critical challenges and inspire innovation."

In addition to this, it has been disclosed that the OS will be able to ingest, aggregate, fuse and disseminate mobility data from multiple sources all across the city. The data generated will be subsequently used by both the public and private sector to achieve the vision of empowering residents to live their best lives through responsive, innovative and safe mobility solutions.

Chief Innovation Officer for the city of Columbus, Michael Stevens said the research they've conducted them has enabled them to pinpoint some of the most prominent mobility challenges that affect the city's residents - and firmly believes that the deployment of the operating system has the ability to transform lives.

Stevens said, "Through research conducted with residents and community partners, we've identified real mobility challenges felt by real people - residents, freight operators, non-profits, city officials and more. We've also identified collections of data that, when applied in new ways, stand to transform today's outcomes. We're publishing this data through the operating system and calling on the public and private sectors to join us in harnessing this data to create real solutions."

The operating system will serve as the technical "backbone" for projects within the USDOT grant portfolio, capturing and disseminating data that will be used to deliver, optimize and measure the performance of eight technology demonstrations funded by the grant.