The State of Ohio is investing $15 million to install advanced highway technology along its "Smart Mobility Corridor"—a 35‑mile stretch of U.S. 33 northwest of Columbus. It was used Wednesday, Nov. 30 for a demonstration run by Otto, a developer of self-driving vehicle technology.
Gov. John Kasich announced the project today at a ceremony in suburban Dublin. He said the state’s partnership with leading automotive research centers and local governments in the region will create an ideal proving ground to safely test innovative technologies that will change the way people and products are transported in Ohio and across the world.
The Smart Mobility Corridor, 35 miles of four-lane, limited access highway, will be equipped by the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) with high-capacity fiber-optic cable to instantaneously link researchers and traffic monitors with data from embedded and wireless sensors along the roadway.
These links will allow testing smart transportation technologies on a highway that carries up to 50,000 vehicles per day through rural and urban settings in a full range of weather conditions. This data will also provide more frequent and accurate traffic counts, weather and surface condition monitoring, and incident management improvements, according to ODOT spokesman Matt Bruning.
ODOT’s partners in the project include Honda R&D Americas, the Transportation Research Center at East Liberty, and Ohio State University’s Center for Automotive Research. Local governments along the route, including the City of Dublin, City of Marysville and Union County, are cooperating.
The Smart Mobility Corridor will also align with work underway to develop Columbus as a hub for intelligent transportation, spurred by a $40 million “Smart City” grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation and more than $90 million committed to date by private-sector partners.
Work to install sensors and a fiber optic network along the corridor is scheduled to begin in May 2017 and last throughout the summer. Traffic disruptions are not expected during installation.