Officials in Ohio cut the digital ribbon today on the state's first "smart road," a 35-mile stretch of central Ohio between the towns of Dublin and East Liberty.
The state will invest $15 million to install advanced highway technology along what it has called the "Smart Mobility Corridor," located on U.S. Route 33. At the conclusion of the event, presided over by Gov. John R. Kasich, a self-driving truck operated by Otto, a unit of Uber Technologies Inc., travelled along the corridor. The truck will be operated on the Ohio Turnpike later this week, state officials said.
The four-lane, limited-access highway will be equipped with high-capacity fiber optic cable to link researchers and traffic monitors with data from embedded and wireless sensors along the roadway, state officials said in a statement. The links will allow for the testing of "smart transportation" technologies on a highway that carries up to 50,000 vehicles per day through rural and urban settings in a range of weather conditions, according to state officials. The data will provide more frequent and accurate traffic counts, weather and surface condition monitoring, and improved incident management, the state said.
"Data collected on this corridor will allow automotive innovators to test and refine jobs-creating technologies that are going to help move people and products more safely and efficiently than ever before," said State Transport Director Jerry Wray.
Installation of sensors and the fiber optic network is scheduled to begin in May and last throughout the summer. The state is partnering with local governments, Ohio State University, and Honda R&D Americas Inc.