East Liberty, Ohio — Tucked away in the hills of East Liberty, Ohio sits the Transportation Research Center, Inc. (TRC), the largest independent automotive proving ground in North America. On July 9, 2018 TRC broke ground on the SMARTCenter, the largest automated and connected vehicle testing facility in the world. 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.
According to Brett Roubinek, President and CEO of TRC Inc, the groundbreaking for the SMARTCenter is the culmination of over five years of collaborative planning with their 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.
At 1.2 miles long and six lanes wide, the site will host the longest and widest connected, signalized intersection in the industry as well as an urban network consisting of movable intersections, roundabouts, and oblique intersection scenarios. In addition to the driving space, the facility will have a 10,000 square foot control building with garage and office space that will have full site access to DSRC and high-speed wireless communication along with 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, who was on-site for the groundbreaking, shovel in hand. “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.”
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.