TRC and Ohio State University Partnership Granted Eligibility for Federal Research Projects Aimed at Improving Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety

TRC and Ohio State Partnership Granted Eligibility for Federal Research Projects Aimed at Improving Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety

Ohio partners receive 5-year task order contract for research to help reduce the number and severity of large truck and motorcoach crashes on U.S. highways

EAST LIBERTY, OH – The Transportation Research Center Inc. (TRC), in partnership with The Ohio State University, has been granted eligibility by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to compete for research projects aimed at reducing the number and severity of large truck and motorcoach crashes on U.S. roadways.

A federal “task order” contract makes the partnership eligible to apply for a diverse range of highway-safety research projects to be sponsored by FMCSA over the next five years.  The Ohio partnership is one of only five research teams nationwide to receive approval to conduct these studies.  The nature and cost of individual projects to result from the contract will be announced as each is awarded.

“TRC is pleased to have this new and exciting opportunity to work with the federal government in advancing the safety of commercial motor vehicles and the highway systems all of us travel,” said Brett Roubinek, president and CEO of TRC.  “Advances resulting from this long-term partnership will help the state and federal governments, vehicle makers and commercial carriers produce safer vehicles, train safer drivers and design safer highways.  That’s especially important at a time when autonomous- and connected-vehicle technologies are revolutionizing the way we move goods and people in this country,” Roubinek said.

Under the task order, the TRC/Ohio State partnership will be eligible to apply for a range of FMCSA research projects over the next five years, developing and validating techniques for research involving automated driving systems and anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control vehicle sensors, truck and motorcoach ergonomics, vehicle rollovers, driver-fatigue monitoring and other factors impacting vehicle and highway safety.

New White Paper Looks at How Vehicle Modification and Repair Professionals Can Ensure Their Work Complies with Requirements of Today’s Driver-Assistance Technologies

New White Paper Looks at How Vehicle Modification and Repair Professionals Can Ensure Their Work Complies with Requirements of Today’s Driver-Assistance Technologies

Research by Transportation Research Center, Inc. and SEMA assists aftermarket specialists in complying with OEM specifications of advanced electronics on today’s cars and light trucks.

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Driver-assistance technologies – automatic braking, lane-departure warning, adaptive cruise control and other advanced systems – are becoming increasingly standard on American cars and light trucks.  These systems dramatically improve the safety and performance of today’s vehicles by assisting in routine driving tasks.  But their multiple sensors, cameras and other complex electronics increasingly pose challenges for the performance aftermarket and collision-repair industries.

To help address these challenges, Transportation Research Center, Inc. (TRC) recently presented new research that analyzes how aftermarket professionals can ensure their repairs or modifications comply with OEM standards for safety and performance.

The new TRC white paper, “Advanced Driver Assistance Systems and Aftermarket-Modified Vehicle Compliance,” is designed to give these professionals the confidence that advanced technologies will continue to work as intended whenever vehicles are modified.  The research draws on TRC’s years of dynamics testing and automotive systems expertise to analyze how aftermarket professionals can ensure their repairs or modifications comply with OEM standards for safety and performance.

Joining TRC in the research effort were SCA Performance, asTech, the Equipment & Tool Institute and the Specialty Equipment Market Association.

Transportation Research Center, Inc., North America’s most advanced, independent automotive testing facility and proving grounds, has been an acknowledged leader in transportation research and innovation since 1972.  Located on 4,500 acres in East Liberty, Ohio, TRC offers the world’s leading vehicle manufacturers, systems makers, and other transportation innovators a full range of engineering, research and testing capabilities as well as compliance and certification testing.  As a fully independent, 501c3 organization, TRC provides these services with the strictest respect for each client’s security, confidentially and proprietary interests.

TRC programs are designed to test for safety, energy, fuel economy, emissions, durability, performance, noise, crash simulation, and crashworthiness. Programs evaluate performance of passenger cars, trucks, buses, motorcycles, airplanes, off-road, tracked, alternative-fueled vehicles and their components.  TRC operates 24/7 and in a full range of seasonal conditions on a variety of advanced research facilities, including road courses, rural lanes, a 7.5-mile high-speed oval test track and a 50-acre vehicle dynamics area. In addition, the TRC campus is home to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s only Vehicle Research and Test Center.

To view the white paper: https://www.semagarage.com/assets/pdf/ADASForumResources/Resource-Doc-Aug-15-ADAS-White-Paper.pdf

TRC Leads New Auto Industry Consortium to Address Biomechanical Challenges and Injury Assessment Methods as Automated Driving Systems Revolutionize Car and Truck Desi

Consortium research is aimed at guiding passenger-safety improvements in all phases of automotive design and manufacturing

With advanced driver assistance systems fast becoming common in American cars and trucks, and with fully autonomous vehicles soon to come, a new consortium of the U.S. auto industry’s leading car makers and component suppliers is working to provide the research needed to inform the design for occupant safety that these vehicles will require.

The newly formed Research Consortium for Crashworthiness in Automated Driving Systems (RCCADS), with members including public and private sector entities, is led by the Transportation Research Center, Inc. (TRC), North America’s most advanced independent automotive testing facility.

“As automated driving systems continue to evolve and become more common on U.S. roadways, the automotive industry would benefit from a unified approach to help ensure that as vehicles become smarter, they will also be safer,” said Ron Burton, Chief of Staff at TRC. “There’s no question that occupant safety has improved tremendously since the 1970s, thanks to the efforts of the industry, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and several non-government entities,” he said.

“With a long history of continuing safety improvements, the challenge now is to maintain that momentum, because automated driving systems require new thinking about the design of occupant protection systems and other parts of a vehicle’s interior,” Burton said. “Consortium members are working together to generate the research to help ensure that vehicle interiors continue to meet the high standards of occupant safety that have evolved over the past half century.”

According to Burton, RCCADS members are collaborating to first understand what research is underway globally and then to identify gaps in the research that the consortium can fill. The consortium research agenda is centered around providing the biomechanical data that can be used to create guidelines for updating and improving tools and in defining injury risk.  As part of this effort, the consortium also seeks to understand the probable realistic future of non-standard seating configurations, restraints, and consumer seating preferences.

“As manufacturers and suppliers have been independently working on their new automated driving technologies, they have also realized that research on the interior of vehicles and passenger safety would benefit from a collaborative approach,” he said.

 

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

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.

SMARTCenter Groundbreaking

Transportation Research Center, Inc. Breaks Ground on SMARTCenter

EAST LIBERTY, Ohio (Jul 9) – Alongside Ohio Governor John R. Kasich and senior state officials, Transportation Research Center Inc. (TRC Inc.), the largest independent automotive proving ground in North America, broke ground today on the SMARTCenter ‒ a state-of-the-art automated and connected vehicle testing facility. 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.

“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 CEO of TRC Inc.

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 and supported by TRC Inc.’s service offerings, the SMARTCenter will be the largest, most comprehensive contained testing site 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 DSRC and high speed wireless communication,
  • and an underground power distribution and fiber network to support current and future test technologies.

“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.”

Projected to take approximately 18 months, construction on the SMARTCenter 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.

SMARTCenter Facts:

  • $45 million total funding for Phase 1
  • Over 1.1 million square feet of pavement equaling 18.5 lane miles
  • Over 700,000 cubic yards – or 51,000 truckloads – of earth moved
  • More than 20,000 linear feet of underground conduits to distribute power and fiber optics throughout the site
  • The site detention ponds will hold roughly 450 million of gallons water, the equivalent of 681 Olympic sized swimming pools

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, OH, 40 miles northwest of Columbus, OH. TRC Inc. operates 24/7 with a variety of facilities including road courses, wooded trails, 7.5-mile High-speed Oval Test Track, 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.

Brett Roubinek

Roubinek to Lead Transportation Research Center

Chaired by College of Engineering Dean David B. Williams, the Board of Transportation Research Center Inc., has named Brett Roubinek as TRC’s new President and CEO. Roubinek has served as vice president at TRC since 2016.

TRC is an automotive proving ground located on 4,500 acres of land in East Liberty, Ohio, approximately 40 miles northwest of Columbus. Its connection to The Ohio State University dates back to 1962, when the College of Engineering established the facility to coordinate and encourage transportation-related academic and research programs.

“Brett has shown outstanding leadership and has played a key role in continuing to build TRC’s key relationships with NHTSA, Honda and Ohio State,” said Williams. “He is the right person to take the reins as we seek to create the nation’s largest and most advanced vehicle testing and research center and help the transportation industry navigate the path to autonomy.”

Roubinek is a seasoned executive with a history of success in growing businesses, leading people, forging relationships and fostering innovation across the automotive ecosystem. A central Ohio native, Roubinek’s diverse experience—from performance driving for multiple OEMs to launching a start-up company—will help guide TRC’s growth and collaborations with Ohio State as well as local and federal government partners. Upon joining TRC in March 2016, Roubinek undertook daily operations, including facility expansion planning and execution.

Last January, Ohio State President Michael V. Drake and Gov. John Kasich announced a $45 million commitment to expand TRC’s autonomous vehicle capabilities. In addition to the university and state funding, the College of Engineering committed $24 million over five years to hire faculty and staff to support research into autonomous technology. In October, the new 15,240-square-foot James A. Rhodes Conference Center opened on TRC’s campus.

“With TRC approaching its second half century in operation, I look forward to continuing the collaboration with partners and stakeholders as Central Ohio embraces the possibilities of automated and connected transportation technologies,” said Roubinek.

“TRC enjoys a rich heritage as the leading independent proving ground in North America, and today we are innovating at the forefront of mobility. I am proud to serve alongside incredibly dedicated associates who deliver unparalleled service and thought leadership to our diverse, and growing, roster of valued clients, pushing TRC to new horizons every day.”

Prior to joining TRC, Roubinek served as a senior executive with the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, CSM, iRacing.com and the Skip Barber Racing School, among several other industry roles. He has shared his expertise with national and international audiences as a guest commentator on major television networks, as a contributing writer Car & Driver and other publications, and as a speaker at the New York Auto Show and PRI Trade Show. Additionally, Roubinek has over 25 years of on-track experience as a professional racecar driver and driving instructor.

A graduate of Denison University, Roubinek serves on the Board of the Ohio Smart Mobility Initiative and the Smart Belt Coalition.

(via engineering.osu.edu)

Credit: YouTube via wksu.org

Governor Kasich praised Ohio’s Transportation Research Center in State of State address this week for work in research and development of highly automated cars

John R. Kasich emphasized his commitment to transportation research and development, and encouraged Ohio’s citizens to embrace new technologies, during the State of the State address this week – where he talked about Ohio’s investment in highway repairs and improvements, the Smart City initiative and the work being done at the Transportation Research Center.

Here’s an excerpt from Kasich’s speech:

“Here’s something most of you don’t know. We have the Transportation Research Center in central Ohio. It’s the most advanced independent automotive testing facility on the continent. And our capital city beat out all the others to be the hub for intelligent transportation through the Smart City initiative helping us move Ohio into the pole position for the future of smart mobility.

“We also rank high among all the states for the quality and maintenance of our highway infrastructure. You saw Mr. Szollosi talking about this. Many states have fallen behind in highway repairs and improvements. We have invested $14 billion on more than 7,000 projects since 2011. That doesn’t mean anything until you accept this.

(Applause)

“It’s an increase of more than $3 billion and nearly a third of what we might normally put into infrastructure. And this has made it possible for us to free up resources, take us to the next level with new investments in these smart highways. You put the fiber in the highways and autonomous vehicles get guided by the fiber we’re putting across the state, and then you have sensors so that the cars can talk to one another. We’re getting ahead. The Transportation Research Center is a little village, 4,500 acres where they can come and experiment and test with a test track. We’ve put money into that. So has Ohio State University. So has Honda. This is exciting. It’s the future. You ought to go there. We’ll get you a ticket to get entrance, if you want to go down there and take your kids. It’s cool to see…”

The governor announced in January that the state of Ohio, along with The Ohio State University, will provide $45 million in funding for the first phase of TRC’s SMART (Smart Mobility Advanced Research and Test) Center – a new 540-acre facility to research, test and validate self-driving vehicles and connected infrastructure – roads, highways, intersections and traffic signals.

Click here for the official transcript from the governor’s speech:
http://governor.ohio.gov/MediaRoom/PressReleases/TabId/200/ArticleId/657/governor-kasichs-state-of-the-state-address-2017.aspx

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Photo credit: YouTube via wksu.org

Transportation Research Center Inc. (TRC) announces all-new Smart Mobility Advanced Research and Test Center with $45 million new infrastructure expansion to test connected and driverless vehicles for the future mobility of people and goods

Ohio Governor John R. Kasich announced that the State of Ohio and the Ohio State University are funding the $45 million Phase 1 expansion of the Transportation Research Center’s (TRC) all-new 540-acre SMART (Smart Mobility Advanced Research and Test) Center – a state-of-the-art hub for automated and autonomous testing, to be built within the 4,500 acres of the nation’s largest independent automotive proving grounds.

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TRC’s CEO talks to Paul W. Smith on Detroit’s biggest morning radio show – WJR

For Detroit’s morning commuters, one of the most popular radio talk shows is the Paul W. Smith Show on WJR. Mark-Tami Hotta, CEO, Transportation Research Center (TRC) had the opportunity sit and talk with the host on Thursday, Jan. 12, near the end of the industry days at the 2017 North American International Auto Show. Hotta touched on TRC’s place in the automotive industry, autonomous vehicle testing, and TRC’s future plans. Here’s a link to the 5:44 minute interview on WJR.

 

Audio courtesy of WJR AM 760 and the Paul W. Smith Show.

Venturi Buckeye Bullet 3

Ohio State’s electric streamliner Venturi Buckeye Bullet 3 achieves new international land speed record

Despite difficult track conditions for a third year in a row, Ohio State’s Venturi Buckeye Bullet team has successfully chased down yet another international record for electric land speed vehicles at Bonneville Salt Flats in Wendover, Utah.

On Friday, August 21, 2015, professional driver Roger Schroer guided the Venturi Buckeye Bullet 3 (VBB-3) to an average two-way speed of 240.320 miles per hour (386.757 kilometers per hour). The new record set by the VBB-3 is pending certification by the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), the worldwide motorsports governing body, in Category A Group VIII Class 8. This is the second year the team has competed in this new competition category, which during similarly weather-challenged tests last year set a record in the same category at 212.615 mph (342.171 kph). The ultimate world record for electric vehicles, set by the Ohio State-Venturi team in 2010, is 307.6 mph (495 kph) in FIA’s Category A Group VIII Class 4.

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