Gov. John Kasich is embracing technology here in Ohio. As announced on Monday, a self-driving truck from the automobile company OTTO, a child company of Uber, would have driven a 35-mile stretch of Route 33 between Dublin and East Liberty, but was delayed due to the attacks on OSU and rescheduled for Wednesday.
“Some of the world’s foremost automotive researchers are working here in Ohio, at both ends of this corridor, and this project provides them with the perfect location and state-of-the-art infrastructure for safely testing autonomous and connected-vehicle technologies,” Kasich said during his press conference prior to the launch of the automatic truck.
He plans to invest $15 million to help create a tech road, or as he calls it a “smart mobility corridor.”
He also lamented the term, “Rust Belt,” a popular nickname for the midwest, balking at the term and how the opposite is true, that “they’re following us.” Implying we’re leading in the tech industry.
This all plays into Columbus becoming a “Smart City” in an effort to improve our tech communication abilities, all funded by a $130 million initiative, $40 million of which is federal grant and $90 million private-sector.
Route 33 is apparently an integral part of autonomous vehicle research. As a four-lane, divided road it sits outside of the Transportation Research Center in East Liberty. Route 33 is where new tech can be implemented, tested and ultimately used in real-life traffic aided, in part, by a fiber-optic cable network and sensor system that would be implemented in May.