Kasich Order Opens Ohio Roads to Smart Vehicle Testing

May 21, 2018

Gov. John R. Kasich on May 9 signed an executive order to authorize autonomous vehicle testing in Ohio and to lay out a roadmap for how the automotive industry can test their technologies in the state.

The executive order authorizes researchers to test on Ohio roadways as long as their vehicles meet certain safety requirements and are capable of complying with Ohio traffic regulations. Each car must have a designated operator who is an employee of the company performing the tests as well as a valid driver’s license. Designated operators will be required to monitor the vehicle at all times and report any accidents that occur.

Participants are urged to sign up with DriveOhio, an agency created in January as a coordinating hub for advanced transportation and mobility initiatives in the state.

The order also creates a voluntary Autonomous Vehicle Pilot Program to assist local governments in working with automotive and technology companies to advance technologies in their communities. Municipalities will have the opportunity to work with DriveOhio and create an inventory of testing locations that offer a variety of traffic and terrain scenarios.

The governor’s announcement said Ohio is investing in infrastructure upgrades that will allow devices on roads and traffic-control signals to send critical travel and weather information to drivers. Current initiatives already underway in Ohio include four smart road projects covering 164 miles of roadway, and two smart city projects.

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