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Transportation Research Center Inc. to Assume Management of California AutoTech Testing and Development Center

Transportation Research Center Inc. to Assume Management of California AutoTech Testing and Development Center

TRC’s nearly 50 years of experience will help grow the facility and advance innovation in region

MERCED COUNTY, CALIFORNIA – North America’s most comprehensive automotive testing organization, the Transportation Research Center Inc. (TRC Inc.) in East Liberty, Ohio, has assumed day-to-day management of Merced County’s California AutoTech Testing and Development Center (CATDC) at Castle to help expand testing services for automotive manufacturers, suppliers and transportation innovators in mid-California’s technology hub.

TRC Inc. signed a ten-year agreement with the Merced County Board of Supervisors to manage the 225-acre CATDC testing complex and bring TRC Inc.’s nearly 50 years of technical expertise as an engineering services firm to help create a one-stop-shop approach to affirming the safety, quality and competitiveness of new technologies.

TRC Inc. was selected to manage and expand the county-owned research center after an extensive RFP process conducted by KPMG International for the Merced County Board of Supervisors.

Since its inception several years ago, CATDC has attracted innovators in and around Silicon Valley and the wider San Francisco Bay region.  CATDC currently operates high-speed and urban-grid automotive test zones on a substantial system of existing infrastructure.  A range of US-based, Asian and European OEMs and technology firms are presently conducting testing and development on the site. 

“In addition to Castle’s airport operations, the auto testing is a key part of our vision for the future of  Castle as a dynamic, jobs-creating engine for our county and the region” said Daron McDaniel, Chairman of the Merced County Board of Supervisors.  “Under the leadership of respected experts in automotive technology and research, we will make Merced County a destination for the high-tech firms and innovators who are reshaping transportation worldwide.”

“As one of the world’s most respected leaders in advanced transportation engineering and research, TRC Inc. has the know-how and experience to take this facility to the next level, attracting more innovators and ultimately bringing jobs and economic development to our communities,” said Mark J. Hendrickson, Merced County’s Director of Community and Economic Development.

“We are excited to bring our engineering and technical experience to Merced County to help this growing facility reach its full potential,” said Brett Roubinek, TRC Inc.’s president and CEO.  “With this strategic location adjacent to Silicon Valley and the Bay Region, CATDC and TRC Inc. give the West Coast’s automotive innovators, start ups as well as OEMs, convenient access to the testing facilities and expertise needed to validate their advanced mobility technologies.”

When TRC Inc. assumes management of the Merced County facility, it will work to complete development of advanced testing facilities, especially new capabilities geared toward research on autonomous and connected vehicles. In Ohio, TRC Inc. operates a 540-acre SMARTCenter which provides transportation innovators with a roadway complex especially designed for testing automated and connected vehicle systems in a safe, secure and repeatable real-world environment.

Since 1974, TRC Inc. has been an acknowledged leader in transportation research and innovation, providing a full range of engineering and automotive research expertise to the world’s leading OEMs, suppliers and systems innovators. TRC Inc.’s 4,500-acre campus in East Liberty, Ohio has attracted more than 800 clients by offering North America’s most advanced automotive testing facilities and proving grounds along with a comprehensive array of research and evaluation services. As a fully independent, 501c3 nonprofit organization, TRC Inc. provides these services with the strictest respect for each client’s security, confidentially and proprietary interests.

TRC Inc. engineers, test drivers and other technical specialists are skilled at testing for active and passive safety, fuel economy, durability, emissions, noise, crash simulation and crashworthiness as well as autonomous and connected mobility testing of passenger cars, trucks, buses, motorcycles, aircraft, off-road, tracked, alternative-fueled vehicles and vehicle systems. 

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TRC Inc. Joins OmniAir Consortium

TRC Inc. Joins OmniAir Consortium

The Transportation Research Center Inc. (TRC) has joined the international OmniAir Consortium, a leading industry association promoting interoperability and certification of smart mobility technologies and connected vehicles.

“Collaboration is key to advancing the new technologies that are transforming the automotive industry today and our advanced mobility experts look forward to sharing their testing insights with consortium members,” said TRC President and CEO Brett Roubinek.

According to Roubinek, TRC engineers, test drivers and other technical specialists are skilled at conducting a full range of testing and research services, including autonomous and connected mobility tests.  The facility’s test environments provide for customizable testing of advanced vehicles and systems in a closed, contained environment where innovators can evaluate the safety and performance of their designs under almost every condition.

In 2019, TRC opened its new complex to test and automated and connected vehicles. The 540-acre SMARTCenter provides transportation innovators unrivalled opportunities to test their advanced mobility technologies in a safe, secure and repeatable real-world environment on a roadway complex specially designed for testing automated and connected vehicle systems. The SMARTCenter’s high-speed straightaways and cityscape courses provide testing and evaluation on a variety of intersection types, roundabouts, access ramps and other navigational situations that are encountered in everyday driving, all before these vehicles and components are taken onto public roads and highways. 

Since 1974, TRC has been an acknowledged leader in transportation research and innovation, providing a full range of engineering and automotive research expertise to the world’s leading OEMs, suppliers and systems innovators. TRC’s 4,500-acre campus in East Liberty, Ohio offers North America’s most advanced automotive testing facilities and providing grounds along with a comprehensive array of research and evaluation services. As a fully independent, 501c3 nonprofit organization, TRC provides these services with the strictest respect for each client’s security, confidentially and proprietary interests.

TRC’s Allison Kender Recognized as Emerging Leader in the Automotive Industry

Automotive Women’s Alliance Foundation has honored TRC administrator for her significant early-career contributions to the mobility and automotive industry

EAST LIBERTY, OH – Allison Kender, executive director of administration and director of technical services at the Transportation Research Center Inc. (TRC), has been honored as recipient of the 2020 Automotive Women’s Alliance Foundation’s Emerging Leader award.  The award is presented annually to an individual who has been in their career less than ten years and has already made significant contributions to encourage and support women in the mobility and automotive industry. 

“It is a distinct honor to receive this recognition from my peers in the industry and from an organization dedicated to advancing and empowering women in our profession,” Kender said.  She received her award this evening at the Foundation’s annual Holiday event, held virtually this year.

TRC President and CEO Brett Roubinek said, “All of us at the Transportation Research Center Inc. congratulate Allison and take pride in her well-deserved achievement.  Her work here has made her a nationally recognized leader in helping create and sustain a diverse automotive industry.”

Kender joined TRC in 2014 as a research engineer and currently leads a consortium of public- and private-sector automotive leaders to provide the research needed to inform the design for occupant safety systems that emerging automated driving technologies will require.  Prior to working at TRC, Kender held positions with several Fortune 500 companies, including General Mills, Unilever, General Motors and Amgen.  She earned her bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering from Columbia University and her master’s degree in business from The Ohio State University.

TRC, North America’s largest, 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. 

For more information, visit https://www.trcpg.com

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 and RCCADS to hosts public workshop at Injury Biomechanics Symposium

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, we have decided to modify our plans for the RCCADS Public Workshop. The workshop will now be held via video conference on Tuesday, May 19th, from 8:00am – 12:00pm ET (there will not be an in-person option).

TRC and the Research Consortium for Crashworthiness in Automated Driving Systems (RCCADS) will host a public workshop. The workshop will feature presentations on several crash projection models, followed by updates on current biomechanics research related to automated vehicles, as well as opportunities for group discussion. It will be held immediately before the Injury Biomechanics Symposium, which highlights strong biomechanics research from students and recent grads. More information on the Symposium here: http://ibrc.osu.edu/symposium/2020-symposium/

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.