Keeping Ohio’s Lead in Transportation Technology

Your ride is safer, more efficient thanks to advances tested and refined here.

From its earliest days, Ohio has been home to transportation innovators who’ve found safer, more efficient ways to move people and products around the globe. This is leadership Ohio is determined to maintain as we attract the world’s top transportation innovators to our state by offering unsurpassed expertise and research facilities for testing and refining their newest technologies.

I see that every day as president and CEO of Transportation Research Center Inc., North America’s most advanced transportation proving grounds and research organization. Located in East Liberty, 35 miles northwest of Columbus, TRC’s 4,500-acre independent automotive testing facility is a focal point for so much of the research and innovation that’s transforming transportation today.

As game-changing technologies, including autonomous and connected driving systems, appear in our vehicles and along our highways, TRC is constantly looking ahead, expanding our expertise and facilities to meet the changing needs of transportation science. That’s how we’ve kept TRC – and Ohio – in the forefront of transportation research since 1972.

An example is our new SMARTCenter, a 540-acre complex specifically designed to test automated driving systems, including autonomous and connected vehicles. With the ideal environment for autonomous vehicles and smart highway research, the SMARTCenter allows transportation innovators unexcelled opportunities to thoroughly test their technologies before introducing them onto public highways.

We also are proud to be a partner in developing Ohio’s first smart highway, the U.S. 33 Smart Mobility Corridor, which begins just outside TRC’s front gate in East Liberty and runs 35 miles east to Dublin. A high-capacity fiber-optic network and state-of-the-art sensors will instantaneously link researchers and traffic monitors with data from the roadway and wirelessly connected vehicles. This smart highway and others being developed in the state, including cutting-edge technologies being deployed on the Ohio Turnpike and local partnerships like those in the cities of Marysville and Columbus, are providing a variety of sites where new technologies can be safely tested in real-life traffic situations, with a variety of terrains and weather conditions. We’ve also extended our capabilities to Silicon Valley and West Coast autonomous-driving innovators with a long-term agreement to enhance and operate the California AutoTech Testing and Development Center.

These new developments are focused on one essential goal: making your drive safer. Since the 1970s, when as many as 60,000 Americans died in traffic accidents each year, new safety features like seat belts and airbags have significantly reduced those rates – but, of course, not nearly enough. Well-researched estimates say technologies like those our experts work with at TRC could save as many as 35,000 lives a year in the U.S. Ohio will be a leader in making that happen.

Ohio has long been at the heart of transportation manufacturing, innovation and research. Research taking place at TRC and across the state will enhance Ohio’s historic reputation as a world leader in transportation safety and innovation.

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