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Today’s guests on the “Beyond Driving with Dignity” podcast show, Rich Granger (DriveOhio), and Randy Cole (Ohio Turnpike Commission), share with us how DriveOhio is driving Ohio’s preparation and leadership for the future of smart mobility.

DriveOhio, an initiative of the Ohio Department of Transportation, is a collaboration between government, research and private industry partners to build Ohio’s infrastructure for smart mobility and to facilitate smart mobility innovations.  As the single point of contact for all of Ohio’s smart mobility initiatives and advancements, DriveOhio fosters cooperation and collaboration, offers faster access to resources by breaking down government barriers, and improves efficiencies for people and organizations that want to be part of this industry.

Rich Granger serves as the Managing Director of DriveOhio’s Workforce Development program.  In that position, he works with public and private partners including government, industry and educators to accelerate and launch a portfolio of workforce development programs that will prepare Ohio’s existing and emerging workforce for the future of smart mobility. Pilot program topics include professional development and up-skilling, workforce and student mobility, problem-based learning and early childhood STEM education.

Randy Cole serves as the Executive Director of the Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure Commission.  The 241-mile Ohio Turnpike is long, straight and flat, making it an ideal open road site for testing autonomous and connected vehicles. The turnpike is outfitted – end to end – with fiber-optic cable, and it already has been a testing site for self-driving trucks.

Director Cole has served a vital role in installing roadside units along a 60-mile stretch of the turnpike and onboard units will are currently being installed and are operational in fleet vehicles, giving the Ohio Turnpike Commission the ability to produce traffic and weather alerts for digitally connected vehicles and to use vehicle and road condition data to make better decisions about treating roads and managing incidents.

Note:  Since this interview, Randy has accepted a position with the startup company Ownum.  Read more about Randy’s successes and his new endeavor here.

In today’s podcast, Rich will explain how DriveOhio is not only working to provide the current workforce with mobility options, but also how the DriveOhio initiative is creating emerging smart mobility jobs.  Randy will share with us how a 60-mile stretch of the Ohio Turnpike is being used as a testing grounds for autonomous vehicle technology.

The “Beyond Driving with Dignity” show is a service of Keeping Us Safe, LLC., America’s one-stop shop for older driver issues.  Visit the Keeping Us Safe website at www.keepingussafe.org to learn more about their national array of services.  

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