Ohio receives $7.5 million grant for self-driving car technology

Written on May 01, 2020

Ohio was awarded a $7.5 million federal grant to test and deploy self-driving car technology.

“The award of this grant shows that Ohio continues to be at the center of this new transportation technology era,” Gov. Mike DeWine said in a statement. “Ohio is committed to being at the forefront of connected and autonomous vehicle technology development.”

The grant, which was awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation, will go to the Ohio Department of Transportation and associated organizations, including the Transportation Research Center (TRC), Ohio State University, DriveOhio and other community partners. These organizations will work with the city of Youngstown and the city of Athens.

The money will contribute to a four-year, $17.8 million initiative designed to gather data that will be used to test the safety of the technology on American roads, develop federal safety rules and collaborate with state governments, local governments and private partners.

“These funds will help keep Ohio at the forefront of research and innovation,” the U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio said in a news release. “Developing and integrating emerging transportation technologies now will allow us to invest in our infrastructure for generations to come.”

DriveOhio says that most testing worldwide has focused on low-speed driving in dense areas rather than driving situations in rural areas or on highways. The grant will help bolster that research, which is necessary to craft policies that can be used for all parts of Ohio and the country. 

Ohio leaders have been trying to make the state one of the world leaders in innovation regarding self-driving vehicles. TRC is the country’s most advanced testing facility, and as a result, Columbus has become a hub for intelligent transportation. The downtown area has already deployed a fully autonomous shuttle.

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