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.
Matt Gurwell is the developer of the nationally-recognized “Beyond Driving with Dignity” program. He currently lectures throughout the United States on topics related to the aging process and its adverse affects on driving skills. As developer of this life-saving program, Matt’s mission is to provide strategies and guidance to seniors that will help them to continue driving safely until the decision is made to retire from their driving career. The “Beyond Driving with Dignity” program also provides an excellent array of services and resources for both families and professionals as they deal with this very sensitive issue. Matt retired from a very distinguished and successful 24-year career as an Assistant District Commander with the Ohio State Highway Patrol. After leaving the Patrol, Matt has participated in a tremendous amount of work in the area of older driver research, best practices, current vehicle safety technologies, and adaptive equipment. Matt's creative, innovative and common sense approach, combined with his uncanny ability to bring calm and resolve to stressful situations without ever jeopardizing the dignity of others, has contributed greatly to the success of the “Beyond Driving with Dignity” program. When asked what the ultimate motivation was for starting the program, Matt explains: "There was never one particular event. It was the result of 20-plus years of holding dying people in my arms at terrible car accidents, and delivering dozens and dozens of death notifications to families. I would much rather work with families to bring a peaceful resolve to this sensitive and uncomfortable issue now, rather than have them deal with it when a State Trooper is knocking on their front door". Matt serves as Senior Care Authority’s Program Director for the “Beyond Driving with Dignity” program. Senior Care Authority (https://www.seniorcareauthority.com) is now the nation’s exclusive provider of the “Beyond Driving with Dignity” program.