EAST LIBERTY — Scissors in hand, public and private sector partners from across Ohio and around the globe opened the world’s most connected highway Wednesday in central Ohio. The 33 Smart Mobility Corridor, a living lab of The Beta District, runs from the city of Dublin on the east end through the City of Marysville, past industry partner Honda’s manufacturing and vehicle development operations, and concludes at the gates of the Transportation Research Center (TRC) Inc. in East Liberty, Ohio. The 33 Smart Mobility Corridor is the premiere location for developing and testing smart mobility technology that has the potential to enhance safety, reduce congestion, and improve fuel economy.
“The tech infrastructure being deployed on the 33 Smart Mobility Corridor will help develop and advance transportation technologies that will make travel safer for everyone,” said Lt. Gov. Jon Husted, director of InnovateOhio. “Through the creation of InnovateOhio, our administration has prioritized the use of technology to better serve our customers – the people of the state of Ohio. This project is another example of how we can utilize technology to improve quality of life and grow an innovative economy that will fuel the jobs of the future.”
The 33 Smart Mobility Corridor is the result of multiple organizations and government entities coming together to support the innovation that is changing the way we work, live and travel. Project partners include the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT), DriveOhio, U.S. Department of Transportation, Logan County, and the NW 33 Council of Governments (COG), which includes the city of Dublin, the city of Marysville, Union County and the Marysville-Union County Port Authority.
“Transportation is evolving, and mobility technology solutions that have and will be tested on the 33 Smart Mobility Corridor will save lives. As we develop the transportation system of the 21st century and beyond, Ohio will continue leading the way. The partnership framework we have established during this project is a model for future programs across the state, as we work to improve the quality of life for all Ohioans,” said Jack Marchbanks, ODOT director.
With a 35-mile redundant loop of fiber connectivity, the corridor includes 432 strands of available fiber, 63 roadside units, and 45 connected intersections. A route that encompasses diverse geographical and meteorological scenarios, the corridor is a unique asset for Ohio that differentiates the state as a one-of-a-kind vehicle testing ecosystem. Ohio is focused on leading the mobility economy and the corridor is an important piece of Ohio’s winning strategy.
“At DriveOhio we know that connected and automated vehicle technology will continue to mature and scale at an ever-increasing pace. The opportunity for Ohio is now. As these systems are tested and refined, infrastructure plays a major role in the development cycle as mobility technology interphases with our legacy transportation system,” said Howard Wood, executive director of DriveOhio. “The design, test, deploy ecosystem that we have established in Ohio is unique in the United States. The 33 Smart Mobility Corridor and DriveOhio’s larger portfolio of projects position the state as a leader in advanced mobility, on the ground and in the air. We want companies to come here to test and stay here to grow.”
“Research along this corridor, like our other work here at TRC and The Beta District, is focused on one essential goal: making the world’s vehicles, highways and traffic management systems safer,” said Brett Roubinek, president and CEO of Transportation Research Center Inc. “Ohio will be a leader in making that happen and the 33 Smart Mobility Corridor will be where it all started.”
No project of this scale could be undertaken without auto industry leadership and support. Honda has deployed over 200 connected vehicles along the corridor to understand how technology impacts the customer and realize a connected ecosystem that protects everyone sharing the road, including pedestrians, motorcycles, and cyclists.
“Ohio’s 33 Smart Mobility Corridor enables us to conduct real-world testing of Honda’s SAFE SWARM technology, which uses vehicle-to-everything communication to help mitigate collisions, improve traffic flow, increase fuel efficiency for all road users, and prepare for higher-levels of automated driving features,” said Sue Bai, chief engineer at Honda Research Institute USA, Inc. “This initiative is helping us develop the transportation ecosystem of the future with like-minded partners in the auto industry, government, academia, and the private sector.”
As the foundation for a larger portfolio of projects at the state and local level, the corridor has supported the Connected Marysville and the Connected Dublin programs. The city of Marysville is the first connected city in the nation, with all 29 traffic signals connected. The resulting system will make travel safer and more efficient for roads users and pedestrians. The Connected Dublin program features connective vehicle technology being utilized in a multi-lane roundabout. Both deployments pair connected signals, pedestrian crosswalks, and infrastructure with a vehicle’s on-board unit to communicate real-time information to the driver to better inform their driving behavior.
“We would not be here today without like-minded innovators coming together and partnering on a vision for the future. The 33 Smart Mobility Corridor and the entire Ohio mobility development ecosystem cannot function effectively without coordination and teamwork,” said Tim Hansley, NW 33 COG president and Union County administrator. “Local, state, and federal institutions partnering with industry and academic institutions to promote innovation is what differentiates Ohio from the rest of the pack. We are building the future here in The Beta District and across the state.”