© 2021 WKSU
Public Radio News for Northeast Ohio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Government & Politics

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
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.