Coalition of Ohio Cities Sign on for AV Testing Initiative

Columbus, Dublin, Athens and Marysville have all signed agreements with the state’s Department of Transportation to be part of the DriveOhio autonomous and connected vehicle pilot.

by Megan Henry, The Columbus Dispatch / November 29, 2018

(TNS) Autonomous and connected vehicles could be driving down Ohio's roads in the not-too-distant future.

Columbus, Dublin, Athens and Marysville have all signed agreements with DriveOhio, the Ohio Department of Transportation smart-mobility initiative, to test autonomous and connected vehicles, as well as smart-mobility infrastructure, according to a news release.

"Self-driving cars are going to reshape our transportation system, and we want to be ready for it," Dublin City Manager Dana McDaniel said in a news release. "The best way to prepare for an autonomous future is to begin integrating these technologies into our vehicles and infrastructure."

The city of Springboro is nearing an agreement, and several other cities including Dayton, Youngstown and Cleveland have expressed interest in the program.

"Companies that create technologies for autonomous and connected vehicles want to test their innovations in real-world environments and Ohio offers the best variety of conditions and locations for that," Jim Barna, executive director of DriveOhio, said in a news release.

DriveOhio assists participating cities in many areas. It helps cities inform local law enforcement about autonomous and connected vehicles, determine what attributes cities have that would be attractive to researchers and promotes partnerships with companies affiliated with DriveOhio.

The first self-driving shuttle in Ohio launched in September, along the Scioto Mile in Downtown Columbus by May Mobility, a Michigan-based startup, as part of an initiative announced in July by Smart Columbus and DriveOhio. The shuttle will start accepting passengers in December, said ODOT spokeswoman Erica Hawkins.

Marysville is moving ahead with connected technology and last week the city and ODOT announced that all of the city's 27 traffic lights and 1,200 vehicles will be upgraded with connected technology. Honda and Marysville debuted "the world's most connected intersection" in October, which links information from the street to a car equipped with certain technology.

©2018 The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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