The Transportation Research Center, Inc. (TRC) – the largest independent automotive proving ground in North America – recently opened SMARTCenter, a state-of-the-art automated and connected vehicle testing facility in East Liberty, Ohio. The SMARTCenter is designed to test advanced automotive and mobility technologies in a safe, secure, and repeatable real-world environment before the vehicles are deployed on public roads and highways.
The SMARTCenter is designed to provide a high degree of flexibility in replicating a variety of real-world scenarios for all types of passenger and commercial vehicles. When completed it will include:
- the longest (1.2 miles/1.93 km) and widest (six lanes) connected, signalized intersection in the industry;
- an urban network consisting of movable intersections, roundabouts, and oblique intersection scenarios;
- a 10,000 square foot control building with garage and office space;
- full site access to DSRC and high speed wireless communication; and,
- an underground power distribution and fiber network to support current and future test technologies.
“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. We’re proud to put shovels in the ground alongside Governor Kasich and officials from ODOT, DriveOhio, JobsOhio, and The Ohio State University to reinforce Ohio’s commitment to innovation – particularly in transportation technology,” said Brett Roubinek, president and chief executive officer of TRC, Inc.
The Center is expected to be complete by the end of 2019. Funding for the $45 million project is being provided by the State of Ohio, JobsOhio, and The Ohio State University.
“This is a giant step forward in making Ohio the go-to state for developing vehicles and smart transportation technologies of the future,” said governor John R. Kasich. “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.”