Smart Columbus—a partnership of businesses, local governments and research groups that oversees the city’s work on the federal Smart Cities grant—is introducing the initial version of a computer operating system meant to address a variety of transportation-related challenges in the city of Columbus this week.
The system is called the Smart Columbus Operating System. It will aggregate data from sources across the city so that it can be available to the public and used by software developers in the public and private sectors.
The operating system (OS) is funded by the $40 million federal grant that the city received for being the winner of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Smart City challenge. The OS will serve as the backbone for projects to be funded by the grant. The system is developed as open source code, meaning that other cities could use it to develop their own platforms to address their transportation problems.
Applications of the OS, along with the initial data sets, will be tested this weekend during the Smart City Hackathon at the offices of Fintech71 downtown. At the event, teams of software developers, designers and entrepreneurs will develop new apps or solutions to problems using the OS data. Leaders of local startups, technology firms and social-service providers will coach the teams, which will pitch their solutions to a panel of judges on the final evening. The team with the best pitch will be given additional support to continue its work.