Smart Columbus Program: Mobility Assistance for People with Cognitive Disabilities (MAPCD) Webinar (09-26-18)
Through the U.S. Department of Transportation's (USDOT) Smart City Challenge, in 2016, the Department selected Columbus, OH, to define what it means to be a "smart city" and serve as a model for other cities wishing to fully integrate innovative technologies—such as automated vehicles, connected vehicles, and applications—into the transportation network.

Columbus is acting as a laboratory for intelligent transportation systems (ITS) and disseminating lessons learned and best practices to cities across the United States in an effort known as Smart Columbus. The goal of the Smart Columbus program is to connect people by creating opportunity for city residents to better access jobs and services while improving the overall safety and efficiency of the city's transportation network. The Smart Columbus program is comprised of nine individual projects covering three themes—enabling technologies, emerging technologies, and enhanced human services.

The Mobility Assistance for People with Cognitive Disabilities (MAPCD) is one of nine Smart Columbus projects. This project’s goal is to enable people with cognitive disabilities to travel more independently on fixed-route bus service. The project team includes City of Columbus staff, subject matter experts with the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) and Ohio State University (OSU), and participating individuals with cognitive disabilities. Use of the term “cognitive disabilities” was decided by subject matter experts at OSU and COTA to include clinical diagnoses of autism, Down Syndrome, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and dementia along with less severe cognitive conditions such as Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), dyslexia (difficulty reading), dyscalculia (difficulty with math) and learning disabilities.

Currently, COTA offers origin-to-destination shared ride (paratransit) services, called Mainstream, for eligible riders who are unable to ride fixed-route bus service due to their functional limitations. The overarching goals of COTA’s paratransit service are to provide mobility and maximum independence for residents, while maintaining safety at all times. The Smart Columbus Program intends to build upon COTA’s existing framework to maximize mobility and independence while maintaining safety and improving cost efficiency. The mobility assistance project seeks a solution that will allow people with cognitive disabilities to safely transition from using paratransit services to using fixed-route bus service, as well as to attract new users with cognitive disabilities who are not already using bus or paratransit services. To do this, the project must provide a solution that offers accurate, turn-by-turn navigation with other support features to ensure that users with cognitive disabilities can safely and accurately complete a trip using fixed-route bus service.

This webinar will focus on the trade study, OSU evaluation, and Interface Control Document (ICD) for the project developed by the City of Columbus. The purpose of this trade study is to identify the best technical solution among a set of proposed viable solutions. The trade study is the predecessor for the buy recommendation for the vendor product. In the summers of 2017 and 2018, representatives from OSU conducted an evaluation and field study of people with cognitive disabilities using application under the guidance of the OSU Pre-vocational Integrated Education and Campus Experience (PIECE) program. PIECE is funded by the OSU Nisonger Center in cooperation with the Franklin County Board of Developmental Disabilities, in which people with cognitive disabilities participate in a six-week internship on campus or within proximity to campus. The ICD describes the interchange of data between the Mobility Management Server (MMS) (source system) and the Operating System (target system), including relevant message structure and protocols that govern the interchange of data between these two systems.

The trade study for the MAPCD is available at:

The ICD for the MAPCD is available at:

This webinar is the fourth in a series of webinars focusing on Concept of Operations (ConOps) and trade studies developed as part of the Smart Columbus program. Sign up for the Smart Columbus newsletter at: to be notified about upcoming webinars.

This webinar is sponsored by the USDOT ITS JPO and is free open to the public. To learn about the ITS Joint Program Office’s research, please visit:

Date & Time:
Wednesday, September 26, 2018
2:00 p.m.— 3:00 p.m. ET

• Jodie Bare, Deputy Program Manager, City of Columbus;
• Andy Wolpert, Project Manager, City of Columbus;
• Alex Kavanagh, Technical Lead, HNTB;
• Olivia Vega, Occupational Therapy Student, The Ohio State University;
• Dan Davies, CEO, AbleLink Smart Living Technologies

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