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Central Ohio Is Building a Tech Superhighway

The self-driving OTTO truck has been trying out Route 33 and will soon head to the Ohio Turnpike.

A stretch of state highway in Central Ohio could become a technology superhighway.  The Ohio Department of Transportation announced it’s working with Ohio State’s Center for Automotive Research, Honda and Union County to create a “smart corridor" on Route 33 from Dublin west to East Liberty.

Credit Ohio Department of Transportation
Ohio Department of Transportation
ODOT's look at OTTO

ODOT director Jerry Wray says it’ll being launched with $15 million from the state along with local and federal funds. A high-capacity fiber-optic cable will be laid.

"What we’re developing and what we’re investing in is a real-world proving ground that will allow researchers and engineers to develop the transportation of the future. This is a great asset for Ohio, for this community. It puts us in the vanguard of the smart mobility movement that’s moving across the nation.”


A key part of the plan is OTTO, a self-driving semi developed by the ride sharing service Uber. OTTO has been going up and down Route 33 on test runs and soon will try the Ohio Turnpike. A driver does ride in the semi in case of equipment malfunction.

Karen is a lifelong Ohioan who has served as news director at WCBE-FM, assignment editor/overnight anchor at WBNS-TV, and afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor in WTAM-AM in Cleveland. In addition to her daily reporting for Ohio’s public radio stations, she’s reported for NPR, the BBC, ABC Radio News and other news outlets. She hosts and produces the Statehouse News Bureau’s weekly TV show “The State of Ohio”, which airs on PBS stations statewide. She’s also a frequent guest on WOSU TV’s “Columbus on the Record”, a regular panelist on “The Sound of Ideas” on ideastream in Cleveland, appeared on the inaugural edition of “Face the State” on WBNS-TV and occasionally reports for “PBS Newshour”. She’s often called to moderate debates, including the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s Issue 3/legal marijuana debate and its pre-primary mayoral debate, and the City Club of Cleveland’s US Senate debate in 2012.