New SMARTCenter, North America’s Most Advanced Testing Site for Automated and Connected Vehicles, Opens at Transportation Research Center in Ohio

New SMARTCenter, North America’s Most Advanced Testing Site for Automated and Connected Vehicles, Opens at Transportation Research Center in Ohio

State officials and industry partners help TRC Inc. cut ribbon at new 540-acre testing center, offering unsurpassed opportunities for testing advanced vehicle technologies.

EAST LIBERTY, Ohio (Jul 11, 2019) – Alongside Ohio Lt. Governor Jon Husted and senior state officials, the Transportation Research Center, Inc. (TRC Inc.), the largest independent automotive proving ground in North America, today inaugurated its new SMARTCenter ‒ a state-of-the-art automated and connected vehicle-testing facility. The SMARTCenter gives transportation innovators unparalleled opportunities 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.

“Opening of the SMARTCenter, after more than five years of collaborative planning with our industry partners, provides an important enhancement to TRC’s robust portfolio of testing and research capabilities, serving to benefit those pioneering exciting innovations in connected and automated mobility. We are proud to inaugurate this new and unexcelled testing facility alongside Lt. Governor Husted and officials from ODOT, DriveOhio, JobsOhio and The Ohio State University. The presence of these and our many other partners reinforces Ohio’s commitment to innovation and highlights our historic leadership in transportation technology,” said Brett Roubinek, president and CEO of TRC Inc.

The SMARTCenter is designed to provide a high degree of flexibility in a controlled variety of real-world scenarios for all types of passenger and commercial vehicles. Supported by TRC Inc.’s many other service offerings, the SMARTCenter is the largest, most comprehensive contained testing site in North America for advanced vehicle technologies and feature:

  • the longest (1.2 miles) 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 Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC) and high speed wireless communication,
  • and an underground power distribution and fiber network to support current and future test technologies.

“Ohio is making the tech infrastructure investments that are putting us in a position to be a leader in automated driving technologies,” said Lt. Governor Jon Husted, who serves as Director of InnovateOhio. “This new facility will attract the innovative people and businesses we need to compete for and bring global automated-driving technology investment to Ohio.”

Funding for the $45 million project has been provided by the State of Ohio, JobsOhio and The Ohio State University.

About Transportation Research Center:

Transportation Research Center Inc. (TRC Inc.) provides a wide range of engineering, research and development, and compliance and certification testing for the mobility industry. With 40-plus years of engineering expertise and industry knowledge, TRC Inc. serves the needs of industries, governments, trade associations, and educational institutions worldwide. TRC Inc. is located on approximately 4,500 acres of land in East Liberty, Ohio, 40 miles northwest of Columbus. TRC Inc. operates 24/7 with a variety of facilities including road courses, wooded trails, 7.5-mile High-speed Oval Test Track, North America’s most advanced automated and connected vehicle testing site and a 50-acre Vehicle Dynamics Area. On this expansive facility, TRC Inc. conducts programs designed to test for safety, energy, fuel economy, emissions, durability, performance, noise, crash simulation, and crash-worthiness. Programs evaluate performance of passenger cars, trucks, buses, motorcycles, airplanes, off-road, tracked, alternative-fueled vehicles and their components.

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