Autonomous vehicle testing gets go-ahead in Ohio

The Governor of Ohio, John Kasich, has signed an executive order authorising autonomous vehicle testing in the state, and laying out a roadmap for carmakers seeking to test their technologies in Ohio.

Companies will be permitted to test their vehicles on Ohio’s roads as long as the vehicles meet certain safety requirements and can comply with the state’s traffic regulations. Testers must also register their vehicles with the state’s new ‘one-stop shop’ for mobility initiatives, DriveOhio, by providing vehicle information and details of where they plan to conduct tests.

“Ohio is well positioned to lead in developing the cars of the future, and just as Wright Brothers did at Huffman Prairie, our great state stands ready to once again launch a new era in transportation,” said Kasich. 

“We have the diversity in weather and terrain that are essential to advancing these new technologies. The sooner these vehicles are safely fine-tuned, the sooner they can make a significant reduction in the 40,000 traffic deaths we have in this country every year.”

Each autonomous vehicle will need to have a designated operator employed by the company conducting the tests, as well as a valid driver’s licence. These operators will be required to monitor the vehicle at all times and report any crashes. 

The state is also creating a voluntary Autonomous Vehicle Pilot Program to help local governments work with carmakers and technology companies, by creating an inventory of testing locations for autonomous vehicles.