EAST LIBERTY. Ohio — Officials from across Ohio and around the globe opened what is being dubbed as “the world’s most connected highway” on Sept. 15 in the state’s central area.
The 33 Smart Mobility Corridor runs from the City of Dublin on the east end through the City of Marysville, past industry partner Honda’s manufacturing and vehicle development operations. It concludes at the gates of the Transportation Research Center (TRC) Inc. in East Liberty, Ohio.
The 33 Smart Mobility Corridor is designed to test smart mobility technology in hopes of “enhancing safety, reducing congestion and improving fuel economy,” according to a news release from DriveOhio.
“The tech infrastructure being deployed on the 33 Smart Mobility Corridor will help develop and advance transportation technologies that will make travel safer for everyone,” said Ohio Lt. Governor Jon Husted, who is also the director of InnovateOhio.
“Through the creation of InnovateOhio, our administration has prioritized the use of technology to better serve our customers — the people of the state of Ohio. This project is another example of how we can utilize technology to improve quality of life and grow an innovative economy that will fuel the jobs of the future.”
Project partners include the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT), DriveOhio, U.S. Department of Transportation, Logan County, and the NW 33 Council of Governments (COG), which includes the City of Dublin, the City of Marysville, Union County and the Marysville-Union County Port Authority.
“Transportation is evolving, and mobility technology solutions that have and will be tested on the 33 Smart Mobility Corridor will save lives,” said Jack Marchbanks, ODOT director. “As we develop the transportation system of the 21st century and beyond, Ohio will continue leading the way.”
With a 35-mile redundant loop of fiber connectivity, the corridor includes 432 strands of available fiber, 63 roadside units and 45 connected intersections.
“At DriveOhio, we know that connected and automated vehicle technology will continue to mature and scale at an ever-increasing pace, said Howard Wood, Executive Director of DriveOhio. “The opportunity for Ohio is now. As these systems are tested and refined, infrastructure plays a major role in the development cycle as mobility technology interphases with our legacy transportation system,”
Brett Roubinek, president and CEO of Transportation Research Center, Inc., echoed Wood, saying that “Research along this corridor, like our other work here at TRC and The Beta District, is focused on one essential goal: making the world’s vehicles, highways and traffic management systems safer. Ohio will be a leader in making that happen and the 33 Smart Mobility Corridor will be where it all started.”
In support of the project, Honda has deployed more than 200 connected vehicles along the corridor to study the technology.
“Ohio’s 33 Smart Mobility Corridor enables us to conduct real-world testing of Honda’s SAFE SWARM™ technology, which uses vehicle-to-everything communication to help mitigate collisions, improve traffic flow, increase fuel efficiency for all road users, and prepare for higher-levels of automated driving features,” said Sue Bai, chief engineer at Honda Research Institute USA, Inc.
“This initiative is helping us develop the transportation ecosystem of the future with like-minded partners in the auto industry, government, academia, and the private sector.”
The corridor has supported the Connected Marysville and the Connected Dublin programs. The City of Marysville is the first connected city in the nation, with all 29 traffic signals connected.
The Connected Dublin program features connective vehicle technology being utilized in a multi-lane roundabout.
Both pair connected signals, pedestrian crosswalks and infrastructure with a vehicle’s on-board unit to communicate real-time information to the driver.
“We would not be here today without like-minded innovators coming together and partnering on a vision for the future,” said Tim Hansley, NW 33 COG President and Union County Administrator.
“The 33 Smart Mobility Corridor and the entire Ohio mobility development ecosystem cannot function effectively without coordination and teamwork. Local, state, and federal institutions partnering with industry and academic institutions to promote innovation is what differentiates Ohio from the rest of the pack. We are building the future here in The Beta District and across the state.”