The idea of self-driving vehicles has been intriguing the general public for quite some time as news of progress has filtered out to the media. Use of these vehicles on public roads was thought by many to be quite far off in view of the technology and operational challenges to be overcome.
But in the past weeks this may have all changed with the recent announcement by Uber that self-driving cars will be tested publicly in the very near future in the city of Pittsburgh. On the heels of that announcement, an Ohio government official made the pronouncement that self-driving vehicles could be tested on Ohio roadways within a year.
The Ohio Turnpike which serves as a connector between the East Coast and Chicago will be pathways for the testing of self-driving vehicles. The executive director for the Ohio Turnpike, Randy Cole, made the statement that testing was anticipated to occur within the next 12 months, according to an interview done with the Associated Press. The decision to move forward had been contemplated by the turnpike officials for over year.
The majority of the testing for autonomous vehicles to date has occurred in western states such as California and on closed courses such as the one held by the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. In an interview, Cole states that there should be more testing in areas with snow and ice, stating that testing has “got to start happening on real roads” in order to gain the confidence of consumers.