Transportation Research Center begins construction of new CAV test facility in Ohio

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Alongside Ohio governor John R Kasich and senior state officials, Transportation Research Center (TRC) recently broke ground on its SMART Center ‒ a state-of-the-art automated and connected vehicle testing facility. The SMART Center is designed to test advanced automotive and mobility technologies in a safe, secure, and repeatable real-world environment before the vehicles are deployed on public roads and highways.

“Today’s groundbreaking for the SMART Center is the culmination of over five years of collaborative planning with our invaluable industry partners. The addition of the SMART Center to TRC’s already robust portfolio of offerings can only serve to benefit the dedicated group of stakeholders who are pioneering the next innovations in the connected and automated space. We’re proud to put shovels in the ground alongside governor Kasich and officials from ODOT, DriveOhio, JobsOhio, and The Ohio State University to reinforce Ohio’s commitment to innovation – particularly in transportation technology,” said Brett Roubinek, president and CEO of TRC.

The SMART Center is designed to provide a high degree of flexibility in replicating a variety of real-world scenarios for all types of passenger and commercial vehicles. When completed and supported by TRC’s service offerings, the SMART Center will be the largest, most comprehensive contained testing site for advanced vehicle technologies, featuring the following facilities:

  • a 1.2-mile, six lane connected, signalized intersection;
  • an urban network consisting of movable intersections, roundabouts, and oblique intersection scenarios;
  • a 10,000ft2 control building with garage and office space;
  • full site access to DSRC and high speed wireless communication;
  • and an underground power distribution and fiber network to support current and future test technologies.

“This is a giant step forward in making Ohio the go-to state for developing vehicles and smart transportation technologies of the future,” said governor Kasich. “The SMART Center positions Ohio as the premiere destination for researchers, developers, and manufacturers to test, build, and deploy advanced mobility solutions that will make our roads safer and less congested.”

Projected to take approximately 18 months, construction on the SMART Center is expected to be complete by the end of 2019. Funding for the US$45m project is being provided by the State of Ohio, JobsOhio, and The Ohio State University.

SMART Center Facts:

  • Phase 1 has seen a total of US$45m funding;
  • Over 1.1 million square feet of pavement equaling 18.5 lane miles;
  • Over 700,000 cubic yards – or 51,000 truckloads – of earth moved;
  • More than 20,000 linear feet of underground conduits to distribute power and fiber optics throughout the site;
  • The site detention ponds will hold roughly 450 million of gallons water, the equivalent of 681 Olympic sized swimming pools.

This video was produced by Ohio State News.

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Rachel's career in journalism began around five years ago when she started working for UKi Media & Events, having recently graduated from Coventry University where she studied the subject. Her favourite aspect of the job is interviewing industry experts, including researchers, scientists, engineers and technicians, and learning more about the groundbreaking technologies and innovations that are shaping the future of the automotive and tire industries.

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