Smart-vehicle testing in Dublin likely won’t begin until the next year or so, but drivers probably won’t even realize test vehicles are passing them on the road, according to Patrick Soller.

Soller is general manager with Alten-Cresttek, an engineering services company in Dublin hired to provide engineering services and public engagement for the Route 33 Smart Mobility Corridor.

As the project matures, the goal is to have about 1,200 vehicles tested that have units onboard to enable them to communicate via dedicated short- range communication with infrastructure such as traffic signals, Soller said.

The Smart Mobility Corridor extends into Dublin to Frantz Road, Soller said.

Fiber-optic cable extends from Transportation Research Center, a vehicle testing organization in East Liberty, to the data center in Dublin’s Metro Place.

The fiber-optic cable will provide the link for data for the vehicles to communicate with other vehicles and infrastructure such as the Ohio Department of Transportation’s traffic management center.

If a crash or incident occurs on the highway, for example, ODOT could send a notification to travelers, said Matt Bruning, ODOT Central Office press secretary.

The biggest benefit of this emerging technology is safety, Bruning said.

Drivers could be alerted when they are going the wrong way on a highway, for example.
And when a vehicle hits a patch of black ice or slick conditions on a road, ODOT and other vehicles nearby could be alerted, he said.

Dublin City Council members Oct. 22 approved an agreement between the city and ODOT regarding autonomous vehicle testing within city boundaries.

The agreement gives the city the opportunity to participate in the testing program with ODOT and Drive Ohio, according to an Oct. 15 memo from Dublin City Manager Dana McDaniel to council members.

The city’s agreement with DriveOhio allows Dublin to extend connected-vehicle testing from U.S. 33 to Dublin’s streets and intersections to collect data to improve safety and offer improved solutions to move people and goods, McDaniel said.

“Thanks to the U.S. Department of Transportation $5.9 million grant for the installation of dedicated short-range communications and investment by the state of Ohio in fiber optics along U.S. 33 between Dublin and East Liberty, to include Marysville — this stretch of highway will become the nation’s playground for controlled testing of connected and autonomous vehicles and other applicable technologies,” he said.

Vehicles that will be tested on the 33 corridor will be connected, rather than autonomous, meaning drivers will be present, Bruning said.

“You won’t notice anything different,” he said.

The technology could also allow vehicles to communicate with sensors at intersections, Soller said.

Lights could adjust based on traffic, to give a green light at 3 a.m. to the only car in an empty intersection, for example, or to delay a green light if a vehicle is running a red light.

And equipment necessary to enable vehicles to communicate with infrastructure is small, Soller said.

Roadside units will look similar to mini-cellphone towers, Soller said, while car units might connect to the vehicle’s existing antennae.

A transmitter might be in the trunk of a car.

“The technology is very compact and small,” he said.

Hylant and Smart Business has recognized Alten-Cresttek CEO and Co-Founder Girish Gowda as a member of the 2018 Smart 50 Awards.

Gowda, who has over 20 years of automotive engineering experience, started Cresttek (now Alten-Cresttek) in 2014 with two employees. He secured a services agreement with Honda R&D, The Ohio State University and several tier 1 suppliers within the first year. Alten-Cresttek has grown to more than 200 employees with two technical centers in the U.S., one in Mexico and another in India.

At the forefront of connected and autonomous vehicle systems, Gowda recognizes the importance of public/private partnerships.

Alten-Cresttek develops engineering services in vehicle crash simulation, embedded systems and product life cycle management. It also collaborated with Michael Baker International to secure the project management portion of the 33 Smart Mobility Corridor, Ohio’s first road with smart infrastructure, including dedicated short-range communications on 32 intersections and 1,200 vehicles. Read More

Dublin, Ohio–Alten-Cresttek, an engineering services firm based in Dublin, recently secured a contract to provide engineering and communications services for the 33 Smart Mobility Corridor project, Ohio’s first road outfitted with smart infrastructure.

On January 23, the NW 33 Innovation Corridor Council of Governments (COG) announced that Alten-Cresttek, as subcontracted by Michael Baker International, will provide industry and public engagement, systems engineering and expertise on connected vehicles in support of the project’s vision to build a prominent proving ground for smart vehicles along Route 33.

“Alten-Cresttek was chosen because of our deep automotive industry experience and our commitment to growing the local talent pool for the emerging connected vehicle industry,” notes General Manager Patrick Soller.

“The 33 Smart Mobility Corridor will offer a unique opportunity for our team to lead the deployment and testing of smart vehicle technology in various developed environments and roadway types,” says Lori Duguid, Project Manager and Office Manager in Michael Baker’s Columbus office. “Michael Baker is delighted to have Alten-Cresttek as a valuable partner in this effort.”

The contract will run for 18 months, during which time the project will focus on installing on-board units for the approximately 1200 vehicles in the project, as well as communicating the corridor’s progress to the community. Discussions are underway to include workforce development components and data monetization strategies for businesses and local government bodies.

“The NW 33 Innovation Corridor Council of Governments is excited to have the Michael Baker/Alten-Cresttek Team on board to lead our efforts to install connected vehicle technology along the 35-mile stretch of the 33 Smart Mobility Corridor. Their experience and expertise in the smart technology field will assist in making our roads safer, less congested, and well-equipped for the real-life testing of connected and autonomous vehicles,” says Terry Emery, COG President.

The 33 Smart Mobility Corridor is one piece of Ohio’s push to competitively develop, test, and implement smart mobility practices throughout the state. Once completed, the corridor will run between the Transportation Research Center in East Liberty through Marysville and on to the Metro Data Center in Dublin. The data collected between the on-board units and roadside units will allow research and manufacturing companies to test smart transportation technology. The corridor, which winds through both urban and rural areas and is exposed to all four seasons, sees 50,000 cars a day and is an ideal proving ground for smart and autonomous vehicle technologies. Within the corridor are prominent automotive industries representing OEM’s, Tier I’s, and research and development.

“An automotive revolution is underway in which the connected infrastructure of the future will enable new approaches to transportation as well as new business models for industry and government,” explains Alten-Cresttek CEO Girish Gowda. “The investment of the local governments along the corridor, the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) and Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) are advancing this new paradigm. Alten-Cresttek, with its decades of engineering expertise in the automotive industry, telematics and data analytics, is pleased to partner with the Council of Governments consisting of the City of Dublin, City of Marysville and Union County to fully realize the vision of autonomous and connected vehicles in Central Ohio.”

Funding for the 33 Smart Mobility Corridor comes from the USDOT via the Advanced Transportation and Congestion Management Technologies Deployment Program Grant, awarded in 2016. ODOT, together with the NW 33 Innovation Corridor Council of Governments, is managing the grant.

Jim Barna, Executive Director of DriveOhio, states, “the 33 Smart Mobility Corridor project presents many challenges and many opportunities for our organization and for the people of Ohio.”

 

ABOUT ALTEN-CRESTTEK

Cresttek, an Alten Group Company, is an innovative engineering solutions and services provider. Alten’s workforce of over 20,000 engineers across 22 countries aligns Cresttek as a leader in intelligent transportation systems, with the resources to actualize and articulate a vision for smart mobility.

###

Contact: Matt Caracciolo
Email: mcaracciolo@alten-cresttek.com

No one is immune to change. Just consider your cell phone and the number of times it needs to update, or the rate at which new phone models are designed, or the proliferation of applications that you can download on it to make your life easier and simpler. It’s not stopping, and it’s actually getting faster. Industries are responding, and those in and around Columbus are no exception.

Cresttek, Dublin’s own design company specializing in the automotive, manufacturing and assembly, and general engineering industries, is currently adapting to the smart initiatives taking over the Central Ohio region’s roadways. Specifically, they’re the project leader for the Route 33 Smart Mobility Corridor, funded by a grant from the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) that was awarded to the City of Marysville and the City of Dublin.

The corridor, which runs from the Transportation Research Center in East Liberty and down Route 33 to Dublin, will soon see the passage of 1,200 vehicles with onboard units (OBUs). Those OBUs will transmit data to roadside units (RSUs) to promote safer driving along that road connecting Columbus’ suburbs.

For the next 18 months, Cresttek will be installing Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRCs) and putting OBUs on various city vehicles, like snow plows and school buses, and collecting the data that’s transmitted.

“Marysville will have intersections that will have these RSUs as well as Dublin at all their intersections,” said Patrick Soller, General Manager at Cresttek. “We’ll have vehicles transmitting data up and down the corridor, and we’ll be able to create applications that improve the safety and congestion of the corridor.”

What those applications would look like to drivers would be warnings about road conditions and traffic. RSUs collect data such as the GPS location or speed of the vehicle and the direction it’s heading. It can combine that data with other information, like weather and accident reports, and let drivers make better informed decisions while they drive. Soller describes this adaptation as being as natural as the implementation of the seatbelt.

“In the future, all vehicles will probably have some type of telematics unit on their car that would transmit data, and that data could be used to warn the driver that the car in front of them is stopping quickly and they need to brake,” Soller said. “It can help you know to stop if there’s a closed lane or an accident ahead, or if they’ve drifted to sleep and are driving into the median.”

This use of information has raised questions around cyber security as well as data ownership. Who gets to access, benefit and profit from the creation of data if not the data creators AKA drivers? Soller said the possibility of individuals gaining control over their own data is very likely in the future.

“There are a lot of futurists trying to figure out if you would have to pay for your vehicle or how the ownership of the vehicle would operate,” he said. “Maybe the data that your vehicle is creating can pay for the vehicle itself, or you may be willing to spend more on a vehicle because it may generate money for you.”

The pace of progress has outrun these conversations, and even legislation and regulation itself. With smart technology implementation in vehicles being such a brand new concept, no national standard exists for autonomous vehicles or connected vehicles. In many cases, the Society of Automotive Engineers is the entity to create guidelines and regulations around how new technology should be tested or certified, “so some of those are still being developed,” Soller said.

Those regulations don’t have much time to catch up: “When you look at all the technological developments that have happened in the last 100 years, there’s been more that’s happened in that short time than anything our ancestors have experienced,” Soller said, “and the pace of change is happening much faster as well.”

For more information, visit cresttek.com

Our new technology series is presented by our partners in the City of Dublin.

Dublin is a city of more than 47,000 residents located just northwest of Columbus, Ohio. The City of Dublin Economic Development team has a vision to make Dublin a Midwest IT Magnet through business leadership and sustainable workforce development. This commitment goes beyond short-term skills training to include long-term strategic and cultural support for the entire Dublin business community. Dublin is one of America’s Top 20 Creative Class Cities and is home to more than 20 corporate headquarters, an entrepreneurial center, 3,000+ businesses, world-class events and the urban, walkable Bridge Street District.