WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) visited the Transportation Research Center (TRC) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Vehicle Research and Test Center in East Liberty, where he saw firsthand how TRC Ohio has become a global leader in autonomous vehicle research development.

“Central Ohio is quickly becoming a model for the rest of the country on how to use smart transportation to help create economic growth and expand opportunity, and TRC Ohio is playing a big role in that,” said Portman.  “I was proud to help keep the one-of-a-kind NHTSA federal testing facility in Ohio at this proving ground, and saw firsthand how these workers are keeping us safe on the roads.  I was also pleased to see how TRC plans to utilize the millions in new state investment to boost jobs and economic development.  And I was happy to learn that my work to help secure millions in federal dollars for the 33 Corridor and the Columbus SMART Cities will help boost the TRC’s investment in order to attract more visitors to Ohio and make commuting easier for local residents, all while providing a new source of jobs and economic development for the region.  I look forward to working with TRC to help them get a designation for autonomous vehicle testing from the U.S. Department of Transportation.  And I look forward to working with the TRC, NHTSA, and the OSU Center for Automotive Research in the future to make sure they achieve their goals.”

Last month, Portman commended the announcement that the State of Ohio plans to invest millions at the Transportation Research Center and the OSU Center for Automotive Research Center to boost jobs and economic development in Central Ohio.  This investment builds on the Department of Transportation’s Smart City Challenge won by Columbus in June of 2016, which Portman was instrumental in helping secure.  In addition, Portman worked to protect the NHTSA testing center in East Liberty by urging the General Services Administration (GSA) to keep its facility there after plans had been made to change locations. Following Portman’s letter, the GSA announced that the location would stay.

Following are photos of today’s tour and event: