Ohio receives $4.4M to test self-driving truck tech along I-70

The U.S. Department of Transportation has announced it is awarding $4.4 million for a project that would build the smart infrastructure to allow freight companies and truck automation vendors to deploy partially automated truck technology during daily services between Columbus and Indianapolis.

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The project is called the I-70 Truck Automation Corridor, and is a collaboration led by DriveOhio, which is an initiative of the Ohio Department of Transportation that focuses on automated and connected transportation technology.

This collaboration includes ODOT as well as the Indiana Department of Transportation and the Transportation Research Center.

It also includes participation from technology providers, truck manufacturers, regional logistics councils and private freight companies, in total contributing another $4.5 million in matching funds, bringing the grand total for project in Ohio to $8.9 million.

During public testing, a professional driver is required to be at the wheel at all times in case human intervention is needed.

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In a release, ODOT Director Jack Marchbank said, “Ohio continues to lead the nation in the deployment of automated driving technology,” although he also stressed the importance of collaboration to the success of the program.

DriveOhio interim Executive Director Patrick Smith stressed the value of the project, saying, “With the coalition of public, private and research institutions that we have built, we’re confident this project will provide valuable insights to USDOT and industry as we develop smart logistics policies, procedures and technology standards that will be shared across the nation.”

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