Driverless vehicles being tested at 4,500-acre Ohio site

The Transportation Research Center’s new test site simulates an urban network of three city blocks with roundabouts, intersections, pedestrians and bicyclists where companies can test their autonomous vehicle technology before rolling it out to the public.

It takes imagination to see it as a vibrant city since there are no buildings, trees or anything city-like.Instead, it looks like a freshly paved parking area with access roads.That’s by design, said TRC Chief Executive Brett Roubinek. The wide-open layout allows for maximum flexibility to test every imaginable scenario, he said.

If they need simulated buildings, they can just drop in a shipping container. Tape is used to mark the pavement according to what the customer needs. TRC provides dummies — pedestrians, bicyclists, dogs and deer — to take part in testing.