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Executive Order 2019-26D

WHEREAS, Ohio has always been a leader in transportation innovation because the safe and easy movement of people and goods from place to place is a cornerstone of our economic success; and

WHEREAS, DriveOhio’s mission is to advance connected and self-driving vehicle technology on the ground and in the air to increase safety, enhance mobility, expand access, improve reliability, and attract, prepare and retain Ohio’s talent; and

WHEREAS, Ohio’s geography, location within a single-day’s drive of 60 percent of the North American population, four seasons of weather conditions, and mix of urban and rural areas provide a diverse landscape and strategic environment for researchers and manufacturers to test and develop advanced transportation technologies; and

WHEREAS, Ohio law encourages the testing and deployment of new technologies to facilitate and maximize the efficient use of Ohio’s transportation assets; and

WHEREAS, Ohio is investing in smart mobility projects: including smart highways covering hundreds of miles of roadway like the U.S. 33 Smart Mobility Corridor, the I-90 Lake Effect Corridor and the I-670 SmartLane, and connected-city pilots, to test and refine advanced mobility technologies; and

WHEREAS, DriveOhio, in conjunction with the City of Columbus, the Columbus Partnership, The Ohio State University, and May Mobility, launched the first autonomous vehicle shuttle in December of 2018 along the Scioto Mile, completely free and open to the public; and

WHEREAS, additional autonomous vehicles, both in the Linden neighborhood of Columbus and the downtown area of Youngstown are expected in the coming years; and

WHEREAS, municipalities throughout Ohio have signed on to partner with DriveOhio to pursue autonomous and connected vehicle projects through collaboration with industry, education, and community partners; and

WHEREAS, Ohio is home to the Transportation Research Center Inc.(TRC), the largest independent automotive proving grounds in North America, which in July of 2019 cut the ribbon on the most expansive autonomous and connected vehicle testing center in the country; and

WHEREAS, Ohio’s TRC houses the only research and testing lab for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which assists with defining crash test standards, crash avoidance and crashworthiness testing and research, automobile defects testing and analysis, and cyber security issues; and

WHEREAS, the Unmanned Aerial System Center, located in Springfield Ohio, working with the Air Force Research Lab, successfully tested SkyVision, a radar system that has now been authorized to allow for true beyond visual line of sight testing for autonomous flying drones; and

WHEREAS, Ohio has invested more than $14 billion in transportation infrastructure upgrades over the last seven years, making our highway system among the top-rated in the country; and

WHEREAS, the recently passed biennial Transportation Budget will invest $8.5 billion over the next two years, including $158 million per year in safety projects; and

WHEREAS, the state was recently awarded the automated driving system grant from the US Department of Transportation, totaling $10.7 million, to test the effectiveness of autonomous technologies in rural areas; and

WHEREAS, in 2018 there were more than 294,000 crashes on Ohio’s roads; and

WHEREAS, NHTSA’s national research estimates that 94 percent of serious crashes are due to driver errors and up to 80 percent of those crashes involving unimpaired drivers could be avoided or mitigated with advanced transportation technologies;

NOW THEREFORE, I, Mike DeWine, Governor of the State of Ohio, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of this State do hereby order and direct that:

1.  DriveOhio is hereby reauthorized as a statewide center for advancing smart mobility solutions under five pillars: Safety, Mobility, Access, Reliability, and Talent (SMART) in order to:

  1. Be a leader in the nation on bringing connected and autonomous vehicle testing and deployments on the ground and in the air under all five of the SMART pillars, with an emphasis on safety;
  2. Bring together those who are responsible for building infrastructure in Ohio with those who are developing the advanced mobility technologies needed to allow our transportation system to reach its full potential by reducing serious and fatal crashes and improving traffic flow;
  3. Act as a statewide single point of entry for companies and innovators looking to test or build smart mobility technologies in Ohio to enable them to easily work and coordinate with various government entities on the next generation of advanced transportation technologies;
  4. Develop near-, medium-, and long-term objectives, goals, and policies for the State of Ohio to leverage its infrastructure and incorporate technology that will improve safety, planning, and capacity for the benefit of the traveling public, business, and the State;
  5. Develop and establish statewide standards which promote the adaptable and consistent development of intelligent transportation technology throughout the State;
  6. Test and deploy smart technologies with industry and local government partners to determine their utility in solving real world problems in traffic safety and congestion;
  7. Create a clearinghouse of technology solutions after performing real world testing to allow other communities to learn from the deployments of other areas and deploy similar solutions;
  8. Make strategic recommendations concerning the type and use of technology for deployment and identify and recommend innovative financing opportunities for technologies; and
  9. Coordinate with the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation and the Departments of Higher Education, Job and Family Services, and the Developmental Service Agency to prepare Ohio’s workforce for the transition of transportation-related jobs that will be needed in the future.

2.  DriveOhio will focus on improving the safety of our roadways through the use of implementing technology that assists in the safe transportation of people and goods.  DriveOhio will prepare a safety report each year detailing the safety projects that DriveOhio has been developing and will provide periodic updates on the safety programs that it is involved in as necessary.

3.  DriveOhio will include the operations of the Ohio Unmanned Aerial Systems Center (UAS Center) and FlyOhio research initiatives.  DriveOhio and FlyOhio will work together in promoting technology solutions that work across multiple platforms and modes for Ohio.

4.  An Executive Director of DriveOhio shall be appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the Director of the Ohio Department of Transportation. The Executive Director of DriveOhio shall report directly to the Director of the Ohio Department of Transportation.  The Executive Director shall oversee and direct the implementation of DriveOhio activities and the administration of DriveOhio. The DriveOhio Executive Director shall have the authority and discretion to establish the organizational structure of DriveOhio, appoint necessary staff, appoint members to the working groups, and to request and receive advice, information, and recommendations from the DriveOhio Advisory Board.

5.  The Directors of the Ohio Departments of Transportation, Insurance, Education, Higher Education, Public Safety, Administrative Services, the Developmental Services Agency, and the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation,  shall work with the Executive Directors of InnovateOhio, JobsOhio, the Ohio Turnpike Infrastructure Commission, the Adjutant General, and the Chair of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, to:

  1. Identify an employee within the agency that will serve as the dedicated liaison between DriveOhio and each agency and will be able to answer questions and provide immediate guidance on all issues facing DriveOhio;
  2. Meet periodically at the call of the Executive Director to discuss how each of the agencies can work together to support the goals and objectives of DriveOhio;
  3. Provide guidance on regulatory issues in order to present a unified State response to questions regarding the testing and deployment of advanced transportation technologies; and
  4. Maintain the following working groups with a representation from industry, regulatory, and research entities and direct them to provide information and recommendations on the following:
    1. Data, Analytics, and Security;
    2. Infrastructure;
    3. Education and Workforce Development;
    4. Unmanned Aerial Systems;
    5. Telecommunications and Right-of-Way;
    6. First Mile/Last Mile;
    7. Vehicle Deployment;
    8. Budget and Partnerships;
    9. Communications and Public Education;
    10. Policy and Regulations; and
    11. Economic Development.

6.  The DriveOhio Advisory Board (“Board”) is hereby established to advise the Executive Director of DriveOhio. The Board’s duties shall consist of the following:

  1. Review and report to the Executive Director of DriveOhio on technological advancements in the field of smart mobility, data analytics, data security, workforce development, funding and research opportunities, and regulatory developments;
  2. Provide recommendations on the strategic, rapid procurement and deployment of smart mobility technologies throughout the State;
  3. Provide overall guidance and strategic direction to the activities of DriveOhio; and
  4. Perform other such related work as DriveOhio shall request.

7.  The Board shall be chaired by a designee of the Director of the Ohio Department of Transportation. Members other than the chair shall be appointed by the Governor. No member of the Board, including the chair, shall also serve as the DriveOhio Executive Director. Members should represent business and industries including telecommunications, applications, insurance, data, cyber security, automotive, research and testing, local governments including smart mobility programs, municipal planning organizations, councils of government, other government entities responsible for infrastructure, and at least one member that represents a public facing industry.

8.  The chair shall call meetings as the chair deems necessary. The chair shall preside over all meetings of the Board. The Director of the Ohio Department of Transportation shall also designate one of the members appointed by the Governor to be the vice-chair, should the chair be unable to perform his or her duties. The vice-chair shall then perform the duties of the chair until the chair is able to again perform his or her duties, or until the Director of the Ohio Department of Transportation designates a new chair of the Board.

9.  Members of the Board and non-Board members of any working groups shall serve without compensation for their work.

10.  The number of members of the Board, as well as the respective terms of each member, shall be set by the Governor provided that during any such term, any member is subject to removal at the pleasure of the Governor.

11.  The Board, the committees, and other interested parties shall form the DriveOhio Alliance, which is chaired by the Executive Director.  The Alliance shall provide information to parties interested in the goings on of the organization and shall be where the committees report progress on any initiatives.  Outside parties are encouraged to be a part of the Alliance.

12.  On July 30, 2020, and each year thereafter, the Executive Director of DriveOhio shall present a report to the Governor as to the progress of DriveOhio over the past year.

13.  Any additional staff support and resources necessary for DriveOhio to fulfill its obligations as outlined in this Executive Order shall be provided through the Ohio Department of Transportation.  This shall include, but is not limited to, necessary resources to accomplish business functions, office and meeting space, and information technology support.

14.  As the Director of the Department of Transportation deems necessary, and pursuant to the Ohio Revised Code and the Ohio Administrative Code, contracts may be entered into on behalf of DriveOhio with government and/or private entities for services in order to facilitate the implementation and operation of DriveOhio’s responsibilities.

15.  DriveOhio will work with its partners in State government and with JobsOhio to continually identify and disperse monies to be able to forward projects that test technology and deploy solutions to specific problems faced by Ohio and its political subdivisions.  DriveOhio and JobsOhio will work together to promote Ohio as a hub of technological information in efforts to recruit new tech companies to the State.  DriveOhio, through the Department of Transportation, will seek federal grants and other funding opportunities, including through public-private partnerships as appropriate to be able to develop new projects and continue to promote Ohio as being on the cutting edge of this new technology.

16.  The Directors of the Departments of Transportation, Public Safety and Administrative Services, with guidance from the Executive Director of DriveOhio, shall develop plans to deploy on-board communications devices in all State of Ohio fleet vehicles within four years.

17.  DriveOhio shall continue to work with local governments and stakeholders on smart mobility projects and new and innovative autonomous and connected vehicle projects.

18.  Executive Order 2018-01K of Governor John Kasich signed January 18, 2018 is hereby rescinded.

I signed this Executive Order on October 25, 2019 in Columbus, Ohio and it will not expire unless it is rescinded.



Mike DeWine, Governor 







Frank LaRose, Secretary of State