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Ohio Governor signs executive order to encourage autonomous vehicle testing

Thursday, May 10, 2018 - 07:00
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Ohio Governor John R. Kasich 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. 

“Ohio is well positioned to lead in developing the cars of the future, and just as Wright Brothers did at Huffman Prairie, our great state stands ready to once again launch a new era in transportation,” said Kasich. “We have the diversity in weather and terrain that are essential to advancing these new technologies.  The sooner these vehicles are safely fine-tuned, the sooner they can make a significant reduction in the 40,000 traffic deaths we have in this country every year.”

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.  The order also requests that they register their vehicles with Drive Ohio – the state’s new one-stop shop for mobility initiatives, by providing information on the vehicle and where they wish to test. 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. 

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.

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Already a leader in smart vehicle technology, 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.  This infrastructure will also help improve emergency response times and will allow traffic managers to better manage congestion.  Current initiatives already underway in Ohio include four smart road projects covering 164 miles of roadway, and two smart city projects. 

DriveOhio was created by Governor Kasich in January 2018 to bring together those who are responsible for building infrastructure in Ohio with those who are developing the advanced mobility technologies needed to allow our transportation system to reach its full potential.

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