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ODOT Wants to Make Ohio Even More Appealing to Self-Driving Car Industry

photo of UBER's OTTO autonomous truck
Companies like UBER are investing in self-driving technology.

Ohio is continuing to try to position itself as the epicenter of the self-driving industry. The Ohio Department of Transportation's Matt Bruning says the state has two smart corridors with two more in the works. He says technology companies like Ohio's variable climate and scenery.

“You look at the U.S. 33 Smart Mobility Corridor in central Ohio and you can, within a 35-mile stretch, go from a suburban setting in Dublin to a rural setting in Union County and even a small community in Marysville. You also get a wide variety of weather conditions, from snow and ice in the winter to heat and thunderstorms in the summer.”

Ohio is working with OTTO Motors to test autonomous trucks on the Ohio Turnpike. The toll road's executive director, Randy Cole, says Ohio may also partner with Peloton, specializing in platooning trucks.

“Platooning has a driver in both vehicles, but the second truck is fitted with the technology to allow it to mirror exactly what the front truck’s operations are.”

Smart corridors are also planned for I-270 in Franklin County and I-90 in Lake County.

With more than 30 years of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market, Ann Thompson brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting. She has reported for WKRC, WCKY, WHIO-TV, Metro Networks and CBS/ABC Radio. Her work has been recognized by the Associated Press and the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2019 and 2011 A-P named her “Best Reporter” for large market radio in Ohio. She has won awards from the Association of Women in Communications and the Alliance for Women in Media. Ann reports regularly on science and technology in Focus on Technology.