Vehicle-to-vehicle communication promises to prevent thousands of collisions and injuries annually, DOT and NHTSA believe. (Image downloaded from NHTSA August 2014 report)

Executive Order Creates DriveOhio Center

"Our goal is to make Ohio the premier destination for researchers, developers, and manufacturers to test, build, and deploy advanced mobility solutions that will make our roads safer and less congested," Ohio Gov. John R. Kasich said.

Ohio Gov. John R. Kasich recently signed an executive order creating a new center, named DriveOhio, to be a one-stop shop for researchers working on connected and autonomous vehicle technologies. He said the state is in position to lead the nation on this research, and the center will bring together people responsible for building infrastructure in Ohio with those who are developing new transportation technologies, as well as connect transportation providers with automotive and equipment manufacturers.

"Just as the Wright Brothers gave birth to flight here in Ohio, we are positioning the state to lead on developing the vehicles, highways, and smart transportation technologies of the future," he said Jan. 22. "Our goal is to make Ohio the premier destination for researchers, developers, and manufacturers to test, build, and deploy advanced mobility solutions that will make our roads safer and less congested."

Initially, DriveOhio will be housed within the Ohio Department of Transportation. An expert advisory board will be created for it that will include leaders in the automotive, telecommunications, software development, insurance, data, and cyber security industries, as well as researchers and developers. The department already has issued a Request for Proposals asking teams of engineering, technology, and data companies to compete for a contract to develop a statewide technology and data framework for its smart mobility initiative.

Kasich's order also says that, with guidance from DriveOhio's executive director, the state departments of Transportation, Public Safety, and Administrative Services are directed to develop plans to deploy on-board communications devices in all state of Ohio fleet vehicles within five years.

It also says Ohio recently has invested in six smart mobility projects, including four smart highway projects covering 164 miles of roadway and two connected-city pilots.

His announcement noted that Ohio's transportation budget signed by Kasich in 2017, together with commitments from the federal government and other partners, is investing $45 million for expanded research capabilities at the Transportation Research Center in East Liberty, Ohio, calling it "North America's most advanced independent automotive test facility and an ideal environment for autonomous vehicle and smart highway research."

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