Gov. John Kasich orders all Ohio roads open to smart vehicle testing

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Republican Gov. John Kasich is opening all of Ohio’s public roads to smart vehicle testing.

Kasich signed an executive order Wednesday authorizing autonomous vehicle research to take place across the state. The order also lays out safety parameters for such projects and creates a voluntary pilot program linking local governments to participating companies.

The order extends Kasich’s efforts to make Ohio a hub of smart vehicle research and development. It urges participating projects to sign up with DriveOhio. That’s a new state office he created in January to coordinate several state offices through a “one-stop shop” for autonomous or connected vehicle developers.

The order requires participating vehicles to meet certain safety requirements and to be capable to comply with all Ohio traffic laws. It reserves Kasich’s right to suspend non-compliant projects.

Locally, the University of Cincinnati hired professor Jiaqi Ma to build a testing lab that will include an autonomous driving simulator.

Eventually, the lab will have its own car.

"The student can develop algorithms and put them on the vehicle and test them on some test track," he said. 

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