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Ohio State co-founds Smart Belt Coalition to collaborate on mobility solutions

The Ohio State University is teaming up with academic institutions and transportation agencies in Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania on connected and automated vehicle initiatives.

The Smart Belt Coalition (SBC) brings together leaders to support vehicle technology research, testing, policy, funding pursuits and deployment, as well as share data and provide unique opportunities for private-sector testers.

Ohio Michigan Pennsylvania highwaysWhile coalition membership may expand in the future, other participating agencies and universities include: the Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure Commission; Transportation Research Center in East Liberty, Ohio; Pennsylvania’s Department of Transportation and Turnpike Commission; University of Michigan; and the Michigan Department of Transportation.

"The Smart Belt Coalition allows the core competencies of each outstanding organization to be utilized and enhanced,” said Carla Bailo, Ohio State’s assistant vice president for mobility research and business development. “We will lead smart mobility in academia and prepare our students for future endeavors.  Further, a multi-state initiative gives us additional leverage in terms of project size and research dollars toward making our roadways safe and secure for all future modes of transportation.”

With similar climates, commercial truck traffic and active work on these technologies in the participating states, the coalition will be a resource for transportation stakeholders and the private sector alike. The coalition is developing its strategic plan, which initially focuses on:

  • Connected and automated applications in work zones, including uniform work-zone scenarios offering consistency for testers as well as technologies offering better information to motorists.
  • Commercial freight opportunities in testing, including platooning (connecting more than one vehicle) and potential coordination on interstates.
  • Incident management applications providing better information to and infrastructure for emergency responders and other agencies.

This collaboration is the latest example of Ohio State’s growing influence and expertise in the smart mobility field. This past summer, university resources and capabilities helped Columbus win the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Smart City competition. And last week, Ohio State was designated a Beyond Traffic Innovation Center by U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx.