USDOT Awards $4.4 MILLION to Ohio DOT for I-70 Autonomous Truck Corridor Project
Columbus, OH – The United States Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has awarded the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) a $4.4 million grant for its Interstate 70 Truck Automation Corridor project.
The project will provide freight companies and truck automation vendors an opportunity to deploy partially automated driving technology in daily “revenue service” operations on I-70 between Columbus, OH and Indianapolis, IN.
In an announcement on Friday by DriveOhio, an ODOT initiative focused on automated and connected transportation technologies, Jack Marchbanks, Director of the ODOT, said the grant will ensure Ohio “leads the nation in the deployment of automated driving technology.”
U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) also shared his excitement about the news.
“I’m pleased to see this federal investment in our region and look forward to seeing how this partnership strengthens the reliability of autonomous driving and promotes further economic development in Ohio,” he said.
The I-70 Truck Automation Corridor project is a collaboration between ODOT, DriveOhio, the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT), and the Transportation Research Center Inc. (TRC) that will deploy “smart logistics solutions” along the designated stretch of I-70.
This multi-state approach, along with participation from technology providers, truck manufacturers, regional logistics councils and private freight companies, makes this project unique.
With partners contributing $4.5 million in matching funds, the total investment in Ohio for this project will be $8.9 million, according to DriveOhio.
As part of the initiative, TRC is offering professional driver training for a host fleets and performing an automation audit of I-70.
The data the TRC collects will be shared with state DOT partners in an effort to provide insights to better ensure their roadways are ready for partially automated vehicles.
During public road testing, a professional driver will be at the wheel always should human intervention be needed.
The project data gathered will be shared with USDOT to inform the development of policies and procedures to scale across the United States.
USDOT Secretary Elaine Chao has been outspoken about the Department’s focus on helping speed the deployment of autonomous vehicles ensuring America leads the world in driverless technology and infrastructure development.