Ohio to start testing Otto self-driving trucks on two routes on public roads

otto self driving truck testing ohio on the road
Governor John Kasich of Ohio will kick off autonomous truck testing on public roads with an announcement scheduled today. Uber’s recently purchased self-driving truck maker, Otto, will run a big rig on two different routes in the Buckeye state, according to CBS News.

In October an Otto truck made a one-time delivery of a trailer load of Anheuser-Busch beer. The truck, with a driver on board for monitoring and safety, drove the suds 120 miles in the first commercial shipment by a self-driving truck. The Ohio testing, however, will be an ongoing exercise in testing and research of autonomous vehicles.

Governor Kasich wants Ohio to be at the forefront of self-driving testing. According to Ohio officials, the state’s seasonal weather changes, which provide a range of driving conditions, as well as the state’s automotive companies and partnerships with universities, all argue in favor of Ohio being a logical center for autonomous vehicle research.

The truck from Otto will travel two routes, only one of which has been made public to date. A 35-mile section of U.S. Route 33 between Dublin and East Liberty will be one route. Route 33 is a four-lane, divided highway and the truck will travel in normal traffic. A human driver will be on board as a precaution to take over if needed. East Liberty is also the location of an independent testing facility, Transportation Research Center.

The second Otto test route will be on an as-yet-unidentified part of the Ohio Turnpike, according to Department of Transportation spokesman Matt Bruning. The busy turnpike is a 241-mile major route between Chicago and the East Coast. The plans to begin testing on the Ohio Turnpike were announced in August.

During Monday’s announcement, which will precede the first Otto trip, Governor Kasich will speak about autonomous vehicle testing and research in the state and also provide details about a fiber-optic cable network and sensor systems that are to be installed on state roads beginning in 2017.

Emerging Tech

Michigan’s former transportation chief has some advice for wannabe smart cities

After 31 years as Michigan’s transportation director, Kirk Steudle has seen it all, particularly with smart city projects. He spoke with Digital Trends recently about what makes smart cities work, and offers advice along the way.
Cars

Bosch, Daimler team up to deploy autonomous Mercedes-Benz S-Classes in San Jose

In 1986, when Bosch and Daimler joined an autonomous car research project, the technology seemed overly futuristic. Now, the partners are aiming to make a production self-driving car by the early 2020s.
Cars

Safety driver in Waymo autonomous car causes collision with biker

Safety drivers are supposed to take control of a self-driving car when a potentially dangerous situation occurs during road tests. But a recent takeover by a Waymo driver resulted in an accident with a motorcyclist.
Cars

Uber wants to restart self-driving car tests in Pennsylvania

Uber is seeking to resume testing self-driving cars on the streets of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania following a fatal crash in Arizona that shut down on-road testing for months. Uber claims to have made safety improvements.
Cars

Honda HR-V vs. Honda CR-V: The differences explained

The Honda HR-V and CR-V may overlap in some regard, but they're not the same vehicle. In this comparison, we highlight the design, technology, performance, and fuel economy unique to each ride.
Cars

This hydrogen-powered Chevrolet Silverado looks like it’s straight out of Halo

General Motors' defense division has released video footage of a rugged, Halo-like truck called Silverado ZH2. The pickup is powered by the next evolution of GM's hydrogen fuel cell drivetrain.
Mobile

Google Maps tests feature that will help drivers avoid crashes, speed traps

Google Maps is testing a feature that lets drivers report crashes and speed traps so the app can plan efficient routes for others in the area, or warn of upcoming hazards. Waze, which Google owns, already offers such a feature.
Cars

Tesla appoints Robyn Denholm as chair, Elon Musk steps down

Tesla co-founder and CEO Elon Musk agreed to step down from his role as chairman as part of a settlement deal with the SEC. Tesla has named a 55-year-old Australian businesswoman named Robyn Denholm as his successor.
Cars

Ares turns the Tesla Model S into a two-door roadster with Italian flair

Italian coachbuilder Ares has done what Tesla won't. It's taking a Model S, chopping off the roof, and sending the rear doors back to the parts bin to create a roadster that's ready for the French Riviera.
Cars

Ford buys scooter-sharing service Spin as it looks to expand beyond cars

Ford has acquired San Francisco-based scooter-sharing company Spin. The Blue Oval believes mobility services like scooter sharing can complement its existing car business going forward.
Cars

Thinking of driving for Uber? These cars are safe, comfy, and fuel-efficient

Uber is a viable means for making money on the side, but you won't earn much if all of your profits are going direct toward fuel and maintenance. Thankfully, these five cars are a perfect fit for those looking to shuttle passengers from…
Cars

Ambitious but not rubbish: The best 'Top Gear' episodes

Since its relaunch in 2002, 'Top Gear' has become required viewing for any serious gearhead. The great moments from this show may seem too numerous to count, but we've managed to pick some of the highlights from the first 25 seasons.
Cars

Camaro vs. Mustang: Differences and similarities between two premier pony cars

The Chevrolet Camaro and the Ford Mustang are two of America's favorite sports cars. In this comparison piece, we highlight the main differences between the two machines when it comes to their design and performance, among other factors.
Cars

Roborace wants human drivers and machines to work together

Roborace believes the future of racing is autonomous, but it's keeping human drivers in the picture for now. For its first race season, Roborace will use a car called DevBot 2.0 that can be driven by humans or machines.