Autonomous Vehicles and Smart Cities P3 coming to Greater Cincinnati

Venture Smarter CEO and founding member of the Smart Cincy leadership team Zack Huhn talks about Smart City Development Goals at the 2017 Smart Regions Conference

Venture Smarter CEO and founding member of the Smart Cincy leadership team Zack Huhn talks about Smart City Development Goals at the 2017 Smart Regions Conference

On Monday, December 4th, Cincinnati leaders meet with Ohio Department of Transportation, Jobs-Ohio, and The Governor’s Office to discuss deploying autonomous vehicle test locations in Cincinnati and making the region smarter using IoT and connected technologies.

Later this week, the group will also host leaders from around the state to highlight the smart cities research cluster that has formed within the University of Cincinnati working on autonomous vehicles, drones and UAVs,  Hyperloop, data and analytics, cyber security, design and architecture, behavioral sciences, environment and sustainability, and sensors and IoT.

Local smart cities evangelist and founder of Venture Smarter Zack Huhn (pictured speaking at the Smart Regions Conference in October) will lead the group. Venture Smarter launched Regional Smart Cities Initiatives in partnership with University of Cincinnati last year. “Smart Cities are about using technology as a tool to create better places to live, work, and visit. Everyone deserves equal access to these new solutions that spark social mobility and bolster economic development,” said Huhn.

Since the regional efforts began, the coalition launched “Smart Cincy” to bring together leaders, ideas, and resources across sectors and government agencies to research, plan, fund, and deploy smart city style solutions including those in transit and transportation that help agencies cut costs, create new value, or simply generate revenue to alleviate otherwise strained municipal budgets and to better serve residents, visitors, and businesses in the area.

At the Smart Cincy Summit in April 2017, local leaders convened to launch working groups around targeted focus areas: connectivity, mobility, security, and sustainability. At the event, the mayor and several members of city council announced their support for smart cities efforts. The city manager’s office also released the first of the smart cities RFPs focusing on public WiFi in Cincinnati’s downtown core.

At the Smart Regions Conference in October, local, regional, and national leaders highlighted their collective progress, vision, and collaborations that will help move the smart cities conversation forward looking beyond municipal boundaries. The city manager’s office also released the second of the smart cities RFPs focusing on regional transit and transportation data aggregation across Greater Cincinnati. Smart Cities leaders in business and government from around the country attended the largest gathering of smart cities leaders and the Midwest, and Smart City Development Goals were previewed for the first time revolving around technology and transportation: 100% access to basic internet and public transit for all citizens by 2021.

In 2018, Smart Cincy will announce a public-private-partnership focused on moving these efforts forward in collaboration with local, county, and state government agencies. Already, the effort has garnered support from thousands of individuals, and more than 750 businesses and organizations. It is expected that a plan for autonomous and connected vehicle pilot projects, and the creation of a fund for project support and grant matching will be launched at the beginning of 2018. Additionally, innovation communities and financial groups are working together to create a smart cities accelerator program in Cincinnati that focuses on smart cities, artificial intelligence, and blockchain technologies.

Questions? Interested in learning more? Email or contact Zack Huhn at



Smart Cincy was launched in Greater Cincinnati with initial leadership from University of Cincinnati’s Office of Research and Venture Smarter’s Regional Smart Cities Initiatives to move the smart cities conversation forward driven by technology and planning standards to address regional needs. The initiative focuses on integrating interoperable and secure Internet of Things (IoT)-based intelligent technologies and strategies into our infrastructure and systems to improve connectivity, accessibility, mobility, security, resilience, and sustainability.

A major focus is to educate and align key stakeholders around available resources and addressable opportunity areas such as how to leverage connected technologies and emerging policies to improve infrastructure, promote public transit, and reduce congestion. Additional focus areas revolve around supporting researchers and innovators in building and deploying solutions that improve our quality of life, and address our region’s needs. This effort is designed to be scalable and repeatable, and eventually will be a part of a statewide and nationwide collaborative that includes data, knowledge, and resource sharing.