The Smart Belt Coalition (SBC), a tri-state collaboration between transportation agencies and educational institutions in Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania, is issuing a Request for Information (RFI) for information and a demonstration of “Truck Automation and Platooning” technology.

The SBC is looking for potential partners who are interested in deploying truck automation and platooning pilots through the three states on roadways operated by the five transportation agencies. While the focus of this RFI is on automated driving technologies, respondents are encouraged to respond on the potential operation and demonstration of other advanced driving technologies.

“DriveOhio and the Ohio Department of Transportation, along with the members of the Smart Belt Coalition, look forward to working with industry experts on the seamless integration and interoperability of their technology solutions across our three-state region, as the Coalition works to make travel on our roads safer.” said DriveOhio Interim Executive Director Patrick Smith.

Truck platooning technology involves several driver-assist capabilities and may include longitudinal and lateral control and vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications that facilitate the driving function while improving safety. More advanced levels of automation may include technology that operates the truck under certain situations.

“As these technologies develop, we want to help them grow while ensuring that public safety remains the top priority,” Acting Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Secretary and Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission Chair Yassmin Gramian said. “Freight movement is very important in Pennsylvania, so reviewing this issue will help us prepare for the future.”

The purpose of this effort is to determine how an automated driving system can operate through a multi-jurisdictional environment, and to demonstrate how the technology company and operator will navigate the administrative and procedural requirements necessary to travel continuously across all three Coalition states. A demonstration will enable Coalition members to identify the processes needed to ensure a successful truck automation and/or truck platooning operation and provide the opportunity to align processes with best practices to the extent allowable by existing state regulations.

“The safe movement of goods and people is paramount at the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT),” said MDOT Director Paul C. Ajegba. “So, while we embrace and support new technologies that enable truck platooning and connected and automated vehicle development, the safety of the traveling public will remain our top priority.”

The submission deadline is April 15 at 2 p.m. 

For the complete RFI and scope of services, go to:

All responses to the RFI must be emailed as PDF or Word documents to: ODOT Office of Contracts,
About the Smart Belt Coalition:

The Smart Belt Coalition (SBC) was formed in 2016 and is a strategic transportation collaborative comprised of 12 organizations, including five transportation agencies and seven research and academic institutions, located throughout Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania. The purpose of the SBC is to foster collaboration amongst multiple agencies and research affiliates from Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, involving research, testing, policy, standards development, deployments, outreach and funding pursuits in the area of connected and automated vehicle technology as well as other innovations in the transportation industry.

SBC members include:

• Pennsylvania Department of Transportation;

• Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission;

• Ohio Department of Transportation, through DriveOhio;

• Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure Commission;

• Michigan Department of Transportation;

• Carnegie Mellon University;

• Pennsylvania State University;

• The Ohio State University;

• Transportation Research Center, Inc.;

• American Center for Mobility;

• Kettering University; and

• University of Michigan.