Kasich creates center to advance Ohio’s smart-vehicle hopes


Associated Press

COLUMBUS

Republican Gov. John Kasich created a statewide center Thursday to advance Ohio’s efforts to become a national leader in autonomous vehicle research and smart road technology.

His executive order establishing DriveOhio comes a day after aides say he successfully pitched the idea at the Detroit Auto Show. Automakers there are sharing the latest ideas for robotic cars.

Kasich said in a phone interview that the office will be “one-stop shopping for anybody who’s interested” in autonomous or connected vehicle development.

“What we’re trying to do now is to make sure we have standard ways of dealing with this amazing development we’re seeing in transportation,” he said.

Kasich’s order calls for DriveOhio to be led by an executive director appointed by Ohio’s state transportation director.

That person would establish formal liaisons with the state departments of transportation, public safety, administrative services and insurance, the state workforce transformation office, the adjutant general and the heads of the Ohio Turnpike and Public Utilities commissions.

The office also will confer with advisory boards of government leaders and experts.

Kasich uses the six-page order to lay out his case for Ohio’s position as a national leader. He says Ohio has always been a leader in new transportation modes “because the safe and easy movement of people and goods from place to place is a cornerstone of our economic success.”

He said the Wright brothers’ early developments in flight were initially overlooked and Ohio will be paying attention this time.

“We don’t want to be left behind,” he said. “We want to be sure that we are moving at the speed of this technology.”

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