Largest independent vehicle test facility and proving grounds in the U.S.
Strategically located, broad range of capabilities, and strong industry alliances
What does it take to be the largest independent vehicle testing facility and proving grounds in the U.S.? Hardworking industry experts; a well-developed infrastructure with an extensive variety of road surfaces; on-site development of leading-edge and emerging technologies; 30-plus years of engineering expertise and industry knowledge; a long-time partnership with a major research university; strong global connections and an eye constantly focused on the client’s needs.
It also takes a secure location – operating 24/7 – with approximately 4,500 acres of road courses, wooded trails, a 7.5-mile (12.1 km) High-speed Oval Test Track, 50-acre (20-hectare) Vehicle Dynamics Area, or “black lake,” and the right mix of testing areas and facilities to make the Transportation Research Center Inc. (TRC) in East Liberty, Ohio, the best place to test and validate nearly any vehicle imaginable, any time of year.
In the heart of transportation tech
Nestled in the rolling hills of northwestern Ohio, TRC lies within the heart of the I-75 automotive corridor, less than 40 minutes from Columbus and approximately 2.5 hours from Detroit. This region is known for its continuous growth and future advancement in automotive manufacturing, research and development.
Hot, cold, rainy, overcast or sunny, TRC offers a world of driving conditions, with wet spring weather, hot summers and icy cold, snowy winters. At our proving ground, we conduct programs designed to test for safety, energy, fuel economy, emissions, durability, noise, crash, crash simulation, performance and more. We test a wide range of vehicle types and equipment, including trucks, buses, recreational vehicles, motorcycles, electric vehicles, passenger cars and components – and we even test road surfaces. Private workrooms and garage spaces are available for lease on a daily to yearly basis to maximize productivity, convenience and comfort for our customers.
Finding the right solutions for your complex needs
TRC provides research and development, as well as compliance and certification testing, for vehicles and components, crash avoidance and crashworthiness testing, emissions testing, dynamic testing and durability testing. We’re home to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Vehicle Research and Test Center – the only federal vehicle research and test laboratory.
We’re also closely aligned with The Ohio State University, a world-renowned research university with experts in advanced automotive technology, as well as the city of Columbus, Ohio, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) “Smart City.”
Our partnership with PMG Technologies Inc., manager of Transport Canada’s sole motor vehicle test center, allows TRC to deliver turnkey solutions to both established and OEM start-ups already selling or looking to expand to the North American market – providing vehicle development, verification, validation and certification per FMVSS and CMVSS requirements. The TRC and PMG partnership – a “Compliance Alliance” – is the North American foundation for a planned global alliance of government-owned, or linked, proving grounds around the globe. The future consortium will provide global coverage for automotive testing regardless of an OEM’s country of origin.
Although we are known as a one-stop source for testing, TRC is also a great location for ride-and-drive events and technology demonstrations. Our ultimate goal is to make TRC your company’s full-service proving ground.
Transportation Research Center Inc. (TRC Inc.) provides independent comprehensive research, development and testing services and facilities to manufacturers, industry organizations and government agencies worldwide.
In 1962, the College of Engineering of The Ohio State University (Ohio State) established a transportation research center to coordinate and encourage transportation-related academic and research programs. The University envisioned a facility for controlled transportation research without using public roadways, with their attendant control and safety problems. This concept was developed as a cooperative effort with the Ohio Department of Highways to such a level that The Ohio State Board of Trustees approved a development plan in 1966 and acquired the necessary land in Union and Logan Counties.
The concept was funded by a portion of the proceeds of a State of Ohio highway bond issue approved by the voters in 1968. In 1972, the Ohio Legislature created TRC of Ohio and established the Transportation Research Board for the control, management, supervision, and direction of the Center. Subsequently, the Board hired a staff to operate the facilities. TRC of Ohio was established to enhance the health, safety, and general welfare of all inhabitants of the State of Ohio, to create or preserve jobs and employment opportunities, and to improve the economic welfare of the State of Ohio.
In June 1979, the Board contracted with Ohio State to manage the operations and staff of the TRC of Ohio.
In September 1987, the Center’s property was offered as part of an economic inducement to attract a major automotive company to build an automobile plant in Ohio. On January 26, 1988, the property sale was consummated and TRC Inc. was formed as successor to the Transportation Research Board. TRC Inc., a non-profit Ohio corporation, affiliated with Ohio State, entered into a management agreement with the manufacturer to continue to operate the Research Center as a multi-user, independent test site.
The facility is operated for the use of automotive component and vehicle manufacturers, government agencies, and industry organizations worldwide. TRC Inc. conducts programs designed to test for safety, energy, fuel economy, emissions, durability, noise, crash, crash simulation and performance. The organization test trucks, buses, recreational vehicles, motorcycles, electric vehicles, passenger cars and components.
The staff, philosophy, and procedures of TRC Inc. continue to be dedicated to the conduct of research and testing for transportation related industries in a proprietary and confidential atmosphere.
Senior Leadership Team
Chief Executive Officer
P: (814) 400-8680
Chief Operating Officer
P: (937) 666-2011 ext. 354
Chief Human Resources Officer
P: (937) 666-2011 x484
Ron W. Burton
Vice President of Laboratories
P: (937) 666-2011 x286
Mission and Vision
To enable stakeholder success through effective and efficient product development, workforce development and economic development.
To be the world’s leading vehicle test organization: a place of choice for customers, investors, employees and partners.
We will strive to meet or exceed customer expectations.
We will strive to protect the environment and assure safe and healthful working conditions.
ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 Registered ISO 17025 Accreditation
Equal Employment Opportunity
It is the policy of TRC Inc. to provide equal opportunity in all areas of employment practices, without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, veteran status, or any other reason prohibited by law.