During the inauguration, L&T hosted a discussion which explored the importance of public-private partnerships to engineering a smart city
Engineering and research and development company L&T Technology Services is opening a new Engineering Centre of Excellence in Dublin, Ohio, which will also serve as a key hub for supporting the Smart Cities initiative.
The state’s capital, Columbus, won the US Department of Transportation’s Smart City Challenge earlier this year. In particular, the centre will focus on connected vehicle-to-vehicle communications, electric self-driving shuttles and autonomous vehicles.
“Through its focus on automotive technologies, the centre will propel our local economy into the next era of growth, delivering quality services, expanding workforce, and supporting major automotive organisations in the region through innovative engineering processes,” said Greg Peterson, Mayor of City of Dublin.
Also present at the opening was Carla Bailo, assistant vice president at The Ohio State University, who explained that Ohio State has been at the forefront of evolving a transformational roadmap for Intelligent Transportation System for Columbus. “And this partnership with L&T Technology Services Limited will create new internship and job opportunities for our engineering and management students on specific Smart City initiatives including product development, engineering and smart manufacturing projects,” she said.
L&T Technology Services, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Indian multinational, Larsen & Toubro, also hosted a thought leadership discussion that considered the opportunities of public-private partnerships in engineering a smart city. Alongside Bailo, notable participants in the discussion included Doug McCollough, CIO of City of Dublin, Mike Wiseman, chief engineer, Honda, Amit Chadha, chief sales officer, L&T Technology Services and Alind Saxena, EVP & transportation business head, L&T Technology Services.
A private-public partnership approach was considered central to the success of the US Smart City Challenge. Proposals from the seven finalist cities generated an unprecedented amount of private sector interest with more than 150 diverse industry and non-profit partners pledging approximately $500 million in resources, technology solutions, and support to implement the smart city initiatives.
Columbus was selected as the winner for the Smart City Challenge because it put forward a holistic vision for how technology can help all of the city’s residents to move more easily and to “access opportunity”. Its proposals include the deployment of three electric self-driving shuttles to link a new bus rapid transit centre to a retail district, connecting more residents to jobs. Columbus mayor, Andrew Ginther, believes its vision of a multi-modal transportation system could potentially benefit all mid-sized cities.