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TRC breaks ground on automated and connected vehicle testing facility in Ohio

ABR Staff Writer Published 11 July 2018

Transportation Research Center (TRC), which is claimed to be North America's largest multi-user automotive proving ground, has broken ground on an automated and connected vehicle testing facility in Ohio.

The facility, dubbed SMARTCenter, is designed to test advanced automotive and mobility technologies in a safe and repeatable real-world environment prior to the vehicles deployment on public roads and highways.

It is designed to offer a high degree of flexibility in replicating several real-world scenarios for all types of passenger and commercial vehicles.

Ohio Governor John Kasich said: “This is a giant step forward in making Ohio the go-to state for developing vehicles and smart transportation technologies of the future.

“The SMARTCenter positions Ohio as the premiere destination for researchers, developers, and manufacturers to test, build, and deploy advanced mobility solutions that will make our roads safer and less congested.”

TRC said the facility will feature the longest (1.2 miles) and widest (six lanes) connected, signalized intersection in the industry.

It will also have an urban network featuring movable intersections, roundabouts, and oblique intersection scenarios.

The facility will feature a 10,000ft² control building with garage and office space; and an underground power distribution and fiber network to support existing and future test technologies.

Construction on the facility is anticipated to complete by the end of 2019. The State of Ohio, JobsOhio, and The Ohio State University Funding are providing funding for the $45m project.

Upon completion, the SMARTCenter will become the largest testing site for advanced vehicle technologies.

TRC president and CEO Brett Roubinek said: “Today’s groundbreaking for the SMARTCenter is the culmination of over five years of collaborative planning with our invaluable industry partners.

“The addition of the SMARTCenter to TRC Inc.’s already robust portfolio of offerings can only serve to benefit the dedicated group of stakeholders who are pioneering the next innovations in the connected and automated space.”

Image: Transportation Research Center breaks ground on SMARTCenter. Photo: courtesy of TRC Inc.