First publishedon www.ITSInternational.com
Marysville has become the latest urban area to join DriveOhio’s programme to test connected and autonomous vehicles (C/AVs).
The suburb of Ohio state capital Columbus has plans to equip 1,200 vehicles with on-board units as part of the AV pilot created earlier this year by state governor John Kasich.
Columbus itself has just been the recipient of a smart cities award for its ITS programmes and is among several cities to have signed up already to DriveOhio, along with Athens and Dublin.
“Self-driving cars are going to reshape our transportation system, and we want to be ready for it,” said Dublin city manager Dana McDaniel. “The best way to prepare for an autonomous future is to begin integrating these technologies into our vehicles and infrastructure. Participating in the pilot programme will make it easier for us to do that.”
The scheme hooks up private companies with cities which have expressed an interest in becoming C/AV test sites.
“Companies that create technologies for C/AVs want to test their innovations in real-world environments and Ohio offers the best variety of conditions and locations for that,” said Jim Barna, executive director of DriveOhio.
Springboro is close to finalising an agreement, according to DriveOhio, while cities including Dayton, Youngstown and Cleveland have indicated that they might get involved.
DriveOhio helps local authorities to determine specific locations to promote, such as neighbourhoods with distinct first mile/last mile needs, for instance, and advises on how to educate law enforcement agencies about the challenges presented by C/AVs.