DOT gives $4.4 million for self-driving truck project on I-70

Self-driving trucks

The U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded Ohio with a multi-million dollar grant to fund a large-scale automated truck project.

On June 12, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) announced that they had been awarded a $4.4 million U.S. DOT grant for their I-70 Truck Automation Corridor project.

Officials say that the I-70 Truck Automation Corridor project will involve “deploy[ing] smart logistics solutions along a stretch of I-70 between Columbus, Ohio and Indianapolis, Indiana” as part of a four-year testing project. 

ODOT says that trucking companies and truck automation vendors will be allowed to deploy “partially autonomous” trucks on I-70 in daily operations. A human driver will be in the cab in case intervention is necessary..

The I-70 Truck Automation Corridor project is facilitated by a partnership between ODOT, DriveOhio, the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT), and the Transportation Research Center Inc. (TRC)  as well as technology providers, truck manufacturers, regional logistics councils and private freight companies.

ODOT says that “partners” contributed $4.4 million in matching funds to provide a total of $8.9 million for the project.

“Connected and autonomous driving technology is revolutionizing how we move people and products across our country,” Indiana Department of Transportation 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 I-70 Truck Automation Corridor isn’t Ohio’s only project dedicated to advancing self-driving technology. The state has a secondary project called the 33 Smart Mobility Corridor in which a 35-mile stretch of U.S. 33 is to serve as “a real-world proving ground for autonomous and connected vehicles.”

Read more about self-driving vehicles here.