The Transportation Research Center broke ground on a $45 million project Monday that is expected to boost business at the site and help make Ohio a hub for autonomous vehicle research and testing.
The center in East Liberty has served for decades as a 4,500-acre research site where manufacturers and engineers test prototypes of the newest sports cars, motorcycles and trucks long before they’re ever unveiled to the public. The center is building a SMARTCenter, a state-of-the-art hub for autonomous and connected vehicle research. Ohio State University is contributing about $25 million toward that project, which is expected to be complete by the end of this year.
The center will allow researchers in Ohio to develop new technologies to push the industry forward, and attract new investment said Ohio Gov. John Kasich. He said the state is home to several high-tech industries but continues to fight a perception that it’s stuck int he rust belt.
“We kind of have all the tools, we just need to market it,” Kasich said.