Ohio’s assets for the future of autonomous and connected vehicles
Kristi Tanner, managing director, JobsOhio•Published: Mon Jan 22 2018
Ohio is home to the winner of the U.S. Dept. of Transportation’s (U.S. DOT) first “Smart City Challenge” – Columbus – which has a vision for the future of how goods and people are moved. This incredible initiative is one of many examples of where Ohio is excelling in the smart mobility transformation.
Proudly claiming recognition as an automotive powerhouse and a growing IT hub, Ohio is more than talking about smart mobility, it is implementing it. Right now across the state, Ohio is putting principle into practice. Ohio’s people and companies are researching, engineering and testing smart mobility as well as the components and equipment that power the functionality.
Simply put: There’s no place better than Ohio for smart mobility. If you’re exploring smart mobility opportunities, here are some of the assets you’ll find in Ohio.
Transportation Research Center
The Transportation Research Center (TRC, Inc.) is the largest independent automotive proving ground in the North America. This world-renowned testing facility has 4,500 acres of road courses and a 7.5-mile, high-speed oval test track, making the TRC, Inc. the best place to test and validate nearly any vehicle in a controlled environment. TRC, Inc. is also home to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Research and Test Center, the only federal vehicle test laboratory in the nation.
The state of Ohio, The Ohio State University and JobsOhio invested $45 million in the first phase of the Smart Mobility Advanced Research and Test Center (SMART), a state-of-the-art hub at TRC, Inc. When finished, the 540-acre SMART Center will permit or expand the testing of new technologies and autonomous and connected vehicles in a closed, safe, secure and real-world environment.
In 2016, the city of Columbus won the U.S. DOT’s “Smart City Challenge,” beating 77 cities nationwide. The award came with a $40 million grant from the U.S. DOT and a $10 million grant from Vulcan Inc. to develop, deploy and share lessons learned about smart mobility solutions that improve safety, mobility, access to opportunity and sustainability.
Smart Projects for Open-Road Testing
Ohio has four smart projects covering 164 miles of roadway that can be used for open-road testing: the U.S. 33 Smart Corridor (35 miles), the I-90 Lake Effect Corridor (60 miles), the Ohio Turnpike (60 miles), and the I-670 Smart Lane (9 miles). In addition to these projects, the city of Marysville is installing dedicated short-range communication units in its traffic signals, which will communicate with at least 1,200 public and private vehicles equipped with onboard units.
OSU Center for Automotive Research
Ohio State’s Center for Automotive Research (CAR) is a pre-eminent research center focused on intelligent transportation systems, advanced vehicle safety and sustainable mobility. CAR combines a balance of government and privately sponsored research and education programs targeted to industry professionals. CAR’s research is centered around energy, safety and the environment, offering state-of-the-art facilities for students, faculty, research staff and industry partners.
DriveOhio, the state’s new center for smart mobility, brings together all of the public and private entities involved in building the transportation infrastructure in Ohio with those who are developing the advanced mobility technologies needed to create a smart transportation system.
Smart Belt Coalition
The Smart Belt Coalition is a partnership between government agencies and academic institutions in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan. This first-of-its-kind coalition was created to ensure interoperability in smart mobility technologies and to work toward the creation of a smart corridor that will eventually stretch from the East Coast to Detroit and Chicago.
OSU Driving Simulation Laboratory
The OSU Driving Simulation Laboratory offers a state-of-the-art facility for measuring driver behavior. The facility provides tools for evaluating in-vehicle systems for infotainment and vehicle guidance to ensure conformance with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
OARnet has created a strong fiber network across Ohio that provides companies direct access to academic resources needed for R&D as well as to powerful computing capabilities needed for simulation and modeling, which inclues information sharing through the Ohio Supercomputer Center. Near the Marysville Smart Corridor is the 33 Corridor Fiber Collaborative, designed to offer companies access to high-speed and redundant fiber optic service to move large amounts of data across multiple platforms.
Fast Access to Midwestern Cities
Hyperloop One, which named the Chicago-Columbus-Pittsburgh route as one of four in the U.S. and 10 worldwide, will seek to develop its ultrafast tube transportation system. Hyperloop One will commit meaningful business and engineering resources and work closely with the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission to determine the commercial viability of the 488-mile Midwest Connect route.
Together, all of these assets contribute to smart mobility playing an increasingly important role in the future of Ohio economic development.
Interested in learning how you can take advantage of these resources? I’m happy to help connect you to the best resources based on your need or area of interest. Email me or give me a call at 1.614.300.1389.