Each year, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) proves to be a major stage for unveiling the latest innovation, gadgets, gizmos and all the things that make the geekiest among us, well, geek out! CES 2017 proved no different, but this time around it had an extra tug on the heart strings of #teamME because of all the talk of a topic near and dear to our world – transit and the technology circling the industry. Technology, like connected and autonomous vehicles (yes, these two are indeed different from one another, but that’s for another day).
But it’s also more than that.
- Technology betters the day of an expectant mother who gets to her prenatal appointment because an integrated transportation data system brought together appointment scheduling and route planning to get her to her doctor.
- It saves a life when a connected vehicle senses and communicates to the driver about the hazards around them.
- It raises up the underserved by giving a worker the chance to easily connect with buses, ridesharing services and rapid transit options to safely and reliably get to a job.
- It gets essential cargo to those that need it most when two semi-trucks connected through technology platoon to move goods more efficiently.
In other words, in addition to how we move, it’s why we move. And, what will move a community forward.
This philosophy is why Columbus won the U.S. Department of Transportation Smart City Challenge. Columbus bested 77 other destinations for the opportunity to build an intelligent transportation system like none other in America.
It’s a concept a lot of the major auto manufacturers are taking note of in a big way. Honda – which has its North American hub in the Columbus Region – announced in 2016 its participation in the Smart Columbus project, and then expanded on that announcement at CES 2017 as it unveiled plans for a new Cooperative Mobility Ecosystem. Sure, the system’s goals include congestion reduction and the efficient movement of vehicles, but it all boils down to a theme that resonated at CES 2017: Products that make people happier can both create joy and empower them to better lives every day.
Now, that’s a concept #teamME can get behind!