(INDIANAPOLIS) – The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) is receiving a U.S. Department of Transportation grant focused on automated driving technology.
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is awarding a team including INDOT, Transportation Research Center, Inc. (TRC), Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) and Drive Ohio $4.4 million for the Interstate 70 (I-70) Truck Automation Corridor project through the Advanced Transportation and Congestion Management Technologies Deployment (ATCMTD) Program.
“Indiana has become a national leader in freight and logistics by leveraging sustained infrastructure investment and embracing innovation,” Governor Eric J. Holcomb said. “As connected and autonomous vehicles take root, collaboration between public and private partners will be critical to safe, successful deployments. I’m proud that INDOT and our partners will be in the pole position when it comes to research and informing policy on this game-changing technology.”
The I-70 Truck Automation Corridor project will deploy smart logistics solutions along a stretch of I-70 between Indianapolis and Columbus, Ohio. This multistate approach, along with participation from technology providers, truck manufacturers, regional logistics councils and private freight companies, makes this project unique. With partners contributing $4.5 million in matching funds, the total investment in this project will be $8.9 million.
“Connected and autonomous driving technology is revolutionizing how we move people and products across our country,” INDOT Commissioner Joe McGuinness said. “Indiana and Ohio are proud to partner with USDOT to lead in the deployment of technology in a multistate highway corridor that will guide the future of automated driving and freight movement.”
The project will provide freight companies and truck automation vendors an opportunity to deploy partially automated driving technology in daily “revenue service” operations on I-70 between Indianapolis and Columbus. To ensure the safe deployment of these technologies on public roads, the TRC will be an integral part of this project. Offering professional driver training for host fleets and performing an automation audit of I-70, the data the TRC collects will provide DOT partners with the insights they need to ensure their roadways are ready for partially automated vehicles. During public road testing, a professional driver will be at the wheel always should human intervention be needed. The project data gathered will be shared with USDOT to inform the development of policies and procedures to scale across the United States.
Indiana and Ohio have millions of transportation industry-related jobs, are within a one-day’s drive to 60 percent of the U.S. and Canadian population and have experienced substantial freight growth. The data gained from this four-year project will support technological innovation in this vital sector of the regional economy.