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Automated Driving 5 min read

Ohio's Route 33 Corridor helps move us closer to an autonomous world

Ohio's Route 33 Corridor helps move us closer to an autonomous world

The 33 Corridor Fiber Collaborative in Ohio is moving the state towards its goal of becoming the heart of a contiguous, interstate highway transportation test corridor, likely to one day extend from New York to Detroit and Chicago.

Phase I construction includes the installation of 39 miles of fiber cables for high-speed connection linking vehicles, drivers, researchers and traffic agencies, and readying the area to be a leader in the autonomous world. 

The 35-mile stretch from Columbus (a smart cities challenge winner) crosses three counties, connects the cities of Marysville and Dublin and is being billed as the "longest autonomous car-ready” highway in the country.

The cable will allow sensors along the highway to communicate with today's connected vehicles and, eventually, with autonomous cars.  Until then, the sensors and fiber connection will be used for autonomous car testing.



In the near term, 600 government vehicles will be connected using short-range radio transmitters and are expected to be all up and running by the summer of 2018. Phase II of construction is also expected to be complete next year when an additional 42 miles of fiber along the Industrial Parkway from Dublin to East Liberty and throughout the City of Marysville will be laid. The two segments will offer a total of 432 strands of redundant fiber.

Collaboration is key

One of the key components in Ohio's Smart Mobility Initiative is collaboration. The initiative was originally launched by The Ohio State University but is now a joint effort involving the Ohio Department of Transportation, the Ohio Department of Public Safety, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Case Western Reserve University, the University of Cincinnati, the University of Dayton, Wright State University, the Transportation Research Center, and the Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure Commission.

Earlier this year, academic institutions and transportation agencies in nearby Pennsylvania and Michigan joined Ohio and formed the Smart Belt Coalition to expand autonomous and connected car development and testing.

At HERE, we've long been talking about the need for collaboration to realize the vision of autonomous driving, so we asked Matthew Preyess, our product marketing manager for highly automated driving (HAD), to weigh in on progress and how projects like Ohio's help advance the efforts of all. 

What is HERE's take initiatives like Ohio's Smart Mobility?

We are glad to see such projects and investments taking place. These positive steps forward help get us closer to a world with autonomous vehicles by laying the foundation for V2X connectivity.

Our roads today and even our cities were built for the manual cars of yesterday without consideration of autonomous vehicles. As infrastructure is updated and autonomous vehicles become increasingly commonplace, location intelligence can provide significant value such as helping a car understand where certain roads or lanes are better suited for autonomous driving like on Route 33 in Ohio.

A world where devices (like cars) and infrastructure (like roads) are connected and can "talk" to one another is a safer and more efficient world that can foster an environment where an autonomous world can thrive.

As the world becomes more and more connected, we must strive to unlock value from the data to optimize and increase efficiency across all industries and everyday life. Unfortunately, today, data is still extremely underutilized — only 0.5% of data is utilized — since so much it exists in silos.

That's why collaboration is so important and why we at HERE constantly take steps to dismantle the silos. HERE is open and agnostic to how data is transmitted.

How is HERE helping organizations to better leverage data?

The sheer volume of data that will be transmitted from autonomous cars (on average 4,000 GB per autonomous car per day) needs to be carefully considered. Both private and public sectors must work together to ensure the autonomous world of tomorrow is thought through and planned for today.

We are already starting to help agencies in places such as Columbus; Lapland, Finland; Tampere, Finland; and Belgium; and companies like [need links blog was in migration] to prepare for this huge surge and ensure they can make proper use of all that data.

In addition to infrastructure change like in Ohio, what else do we need to realize the vision of autonomous vehicles?

It will take true public/private sector collaboration to realize the vision of autonomous vehicles. No one company or government can do it alone. To make HAD a reality and ensure public safety, there can be no obstacles to vehicles communicating with each other or to the infrastructure. That means no data silos and why our Open Location Platform is a neutral aggregator of this critical data. 

A highly precise, reliable and up-to-date, global HD map is also vital.  We have a two-pronged approach in this area: Build the foundation of our HD Live Map with our HERE True vehicles that are mapping the global road network today, providing accuracy down to centimeters, and leveraging multiple data sources to maintain the map, enabling it to "heal" itself.

Data sources such as crowdsourced vehicle sensor data, satellite imagery, aerial imagery and mobile probes, and also working with governments around the world to collect data such as construction projects, to ensure our maps stay up to date in near real-time. We call this a "self-healing" map.


Lori Castle

Lori Castle

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