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PAVE’s First Public Sector Workshop: Helping Ohio Communities Prepare for an Autonomous Future

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Blue outline of Ohio with the text "PAVE the Way: Preparing Ohio for the Autonomous Future"

WASHINGTON — Partners for Automated Vehicle Education teamed with DriveOhio and Ohio’s Transportation Research Center this week in hosting a two-day virtual workshop for public sector officials in Ohio. The workshop aimed to help communities prepare for a future with autonomous vehicles.

“PAVE’s mission is to provide the public with facts and information about autonomous vehicle technology, and public sector officials are a critical audience,” said PAVE Executive Director Tara Andringa. “We find that communities are eager to prepare for an eventual AV future, but they often don’t know where to begin. They wonder what steps to take in terms of infrastructure, or how first responders will interact with AVs. We were excited to assemble experts from across the AV landscape to help Ohio prepare for the transportation future.”

Ohio Lt. Gov Jon Husted, who has been a strong advocate for autonomous vehicle technology in Ohio, addressed conference attendees, as well as speakers from across industry, academia, the public sector, and nonprofit organizations. The full list of speakers is available on the conference agenda.

The workshop, “PAVE the Way: Preparing Ohio for the Autonomous Future,” included six sessions that explored many facets of AV technology and its societal effects. The sessions included: 

AV Tech 101

The workshop opened with an overview of how an autonomous vehicle works, exploring the levels of AV technology, and chronicling the AV testing process. Speakers included an R&D engineer, an engineering professor, and a highway safety expert.

Safety & Regulation

This session explored AV safety and perspectives on AV regulation. A panel, which included speakers from the public sector and industry, discussed approaches to AV policy and regulation.

AVs & Community Values

A panel of city officials and urban planners discussed the potential of AVs to create new transportation options for people who are not well-served by our current system, whether due to disability or economic constraints. 

Movement of Goods

Autonomous freight vehicles may be one of the first examples of AV technology that the public sees, so this session talked about the potential benefits and challenges of autonomous freight delivery. Two industry representatives presented case studies of current AV delivery deployments in Ohio, and a panel of public and private sector speakers discussed smart logistics in the Midwest.

Movement of People

Much of the AV development in the public eye is focused on transporting people, but there are many possible AV models, including shared fleet vehicles, shuttle-type vehicles, and privately-owned vehicles. Our panelists discussed potential applications of autonomous vehicle technology that the public may see in the future.

Operations, Infrastructure & the Workforce

The final session of the workshop looked at public sector challenges involving autonomous vehicles, including what this new technology means for infrastructure, first responders, and the workforce. Speakers included officials from state DOTs, infrastructure commissions, highway patrol, and police departments. DriveOhio also gave a presentation about workforce and economic development.


About PAVE:

PAVE is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit whose mission is to improve public understanding of advanced vehicle technologies in order to maximize the potential benefits in safety, mobility and sustainability. PAVE members include automotive manufacturers, technology companies, and nonprofit organizations. 

May 19, 2021