The Federal Highway Administration is awarding a team that includes Indiana Department of Transportation personnel nearly $4.5 million for the Interstate 70 Truck Automation Corridor project. The project involves the use of smart logistics solutions along a stretch of I-70 between Indianapolis and Columbus, Ohio to allow freight companies to deploy partially automated driving technology.
The Transportation Research Center, Ohio Department of Transportation and Drive Ohio are also involved in the project from the Advanced Transportation and Congestion Management Technologies Program.
“Indiana has become a national leader in freight and logistics by leveraging sustained infrastructure investment and embracing innovation,” Governor Eric J. Holcomb said. “As connected and autonomous vehicles take root, collaboration between public and private partners will be critical to safe, successful deployments. I’m proud that INDOT and our partners will be in the pole position when it comes to research and informing policy on this game-changing technology.”
Matching partners include tech providers, truck manufacturers, private freight companies and regional logistics councils, who contributed $4.5 million in matching funds, which makes a total investment of $8.9 million.
INDOT says freight companies and truck automation vendors will be provided an opportunity to use automated driving technology in daily “revenue service” operations on the specific stretch of interstate. The Transportation Research Center will work to ensure the safety of the project by offering driver training and performing an automation audit of I-70, with the data collected to be shared with Department of Transportation partners. A professional driver will be used during public road testing.
“Connected and autonomous driving technology is revolutionizing how we move people and products across our country,” INDOT 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.”
Project partners say this particular stretch of I-70 was chosen due to Indiana and Ohio having millions of transportation-related jobs and being within one day’s drive to 60 percent of the U.S. and Canadian populations. The data from the four-year project will be used to support tech innovation.