Transport Research Center launches connected cars testing facility in Ohio
The U.S. Transportation Research Centre (TRC) has inaugurated its new SmartCentre for testing automated and connected vehicles in Logan County, Ohio.
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, the Transportation Research Centre said in a release.
“The addition of the SMARTCenter to TRC’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,” said Brett Roubinek, president and CEO of TRC.
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, TRC said.
The facility will have 1.2 miles and six lines as well as an urban network consisting of movable intersections, roundabouts, and oblique intersection scenarios.
The testing area will also include a 10,000 square foot control building with garage and office space as well as 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 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.
TRC operates a variety of facilities including road courses, wooded trails, 7.5-mile High-speed Oval Test Track, and a 50-acre Vehicle Dynamics Area. The company 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.