Kasich order encourages more autonomous vehicle testing

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COLUMBUS — Ohio Gov. John R. Kasich signed an executive order May 9 to authorize autonomous vehicle testing in Ohio and to lay out a roadmap for how the automotive industry can test technologies in the state.

The executive order authorizes researchers to test on Ohio roadways as long as their vehicles meet certain safety requirements and are capable of complying with Ohio traffic regulations.

DriveOhio

The order also requests that they register their vehicles with DriveOhio — the state’s new shop for mobility initiatives, by providing information on the vehicle and where they wish to test.

Each car must have a designated operator who is an employee of the company performing the tests as well as a valid driver’s license. Designated operators will be required to monitor the vehicle at all times and report any accidents that occur.

The order also creates a voluntary Autonomous Vehicle Pilot Program to assist local governments in working with automotive and technology companies. Municipalities will have the opportunity to work with DriveOhio and create an inventory of testing locations that offer a variety of traffic and terrain scenarios.

Upgrades

Ohio is investing in infrastructure upgrades that will allow devices on roads and traffic-control signals to send critical travel and weather information to drivers. This infrastructure will also help improve emergency response times and will allow traffic managers to better manage congestion.

Current initiatives already underway in Ohio include four smart road projects covering 164 miles of roadway, and two smart city projects.

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