The wiring takes place this summer, although tests will have to wait until everything is in place. There are already partners lined up to use it, though: Intel’s Wind River is teaming up with Ohio State University, the city of Dublin and the Transportation Research Center to use the Route 33 segment as an autonomous vehicle testbed. Honda and other companies could also use the smart highway for their own research.
You aren’t likely to see the results of this work for years. However, it could prove vital to the future of self-driving tech. The first fully autonomous vehicles to enter service are likely to start driving on highways first, not city streets — this will help them make full use of those simpler but faster passageways, and should refine the technology until it’s ready for trickier situations.