The Ohio State University, ODOT and Gov. John Kasich joined together with other organizations to break ground on the Transportation Research Center’s new SMART Center in East Liberty, bringing the unique testing ground for driverless vehicles closer to fruition.
The 540-acre testing grounds, when complete, will be the largest of its kind in North America. The site will offer year-round testing in all different kinds of weather conditions. Part of the proving ground is slotted to open later this year.
Last year the University announced a $45 million investment to build the new SMART Center. The College of Engineering has committed to spending $24 million over five years to help the SMART Center hire staff and faculty to support research into driverless vehicle technology.
Many at the University believe the SMART Center will be a great advantage to students preparing for careers in computer science and engineering. The previously built portions of the SMART Center have already seen a lot of use by students and faculty.