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Ohio News

Kasich Opens Ohio Roads To Driverless Vehicle Testing

john kasich drive ohio
Karen Kasler
/
Ohio Statehouse News Bureau
Gov. John Kasich signs an executive order on autonomous vehicle testing at Pillar Technologies in Columbus.

Gov. John Kasich has signed an executive order opening up any public road around the state for testing for driverless vehicles.

The governor’s order permits autonomous vehicle testing on any public road, but companies must register with the state’s DriveOhio initiative. That's the new state office Kasich created in January to coordinate several state offices through a "one-stop shop" for autonomous or connected vehicle developers.

Communities may participate by signing up, too. Kasich says he’s talked to at least one mayor who’s excited and wants this to be a truly statewide effort.

“We’re not going to permit, by the way – at least as long as I’m here – communities to start blocking this, because then you create a hodge-podge, that is unworkable,” Kasich said.

The order also says operators must have valid licenses and be able to take control of vehicles if needed., and must be able to comply with all Ohio traffic laws. Twenty-two other states have gone further and have enacted legislation on autonomous vehicles.

Kasich's order also reserves the right to suspend non-compliant projects.