In an effort to promote road safety and driving efficiency, the Federal Highway Administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation awarded a $4.4 million grant to the Ohio Department of Transportation. ODOT has plans for a project called DriveOhio I-70 Truck Automation Corridor.
The federal funds will allow the state of Ohio to collaborate with the Transportation Research Center Inc. and the Indiana Department of Transportation to add new technologies on a stretch of public road between Columbus, Ohio and Indianapolis, Indiana. Truck automation vendors and freight companies will use the modified roadways in their daily revenue service operations and deliveries.
Integration of truck automation technologies
The deployment of these new smart mobility technologies will take an estimated four years. This large project requires multi-state collaboration and additional funds from partners investing an additional $4.5 million for this project. Truck manufacturers, technology providers, private freight companies and regional logistics councils will all work together to construct the corridor.
The grant money will fund research and technology development. Artificial intelligence, vehicle communication technologies and bicycle-pedestrian safety features are some of these forward-looking technologies that will advance Ohio’s and America’s transportation network.
Measures to ensure safety
The TRC will monitor the safety of the truck automation technologies. Data collected from automation audits of I-70 will assist Department of Transportation partners in determining the readiness of the interstate. Host fleets will have professional training available. During the public road testing period, these trained professionals will assess the situation behind the wheel of the commercial trucks.
This innovative undertaking will be a blueprint for other projects across the country. The USDOT will disseminate any data collected from this project to scale the development of truck automation nationwide.
While the introduction of the truck automation technologies in this new corridor will likely reduce road hazards and accidents and improve mobility, people could still could wind up injured because of a technological failure. Injured parties, as ever, will be able to exercise their right to seek compensation for any damage or injuries they incur.