Ohio receives $17.8 million to study self-driving vehicles

Ohio receives $17.8 million to study self-driving vehicles
A member of the media test drives a Tesla Motors Inc. Model S car equipped with Autopilot in Palo Alto, California, U.S., on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2015. Tesla Motors Inc. will begin rolling out the first version of its highly anticipated "autopilot" features to owners of its all-electric Model S sedan Thursday. Autopilot is a step toward the vision of autonomous or self-driving cars, and includes features like automatic lane changing and the ability of the Model S to parallel park for you. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio's U.S. senators say the state has received $17.8 million to generate data on self-driving vehicles.

Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown and Republican Sen. Rob Portman say the money will be used to keep Ohio at the forefront of vehicle automation research.

The Ohio Department of Transportation and a group of other organizations, including the Transportation Research Center, received a $7.5 million grant in federal funds. An additional $10.3 million was contributed in matching funds.

Brett Roubinek, the center's president, says the grant is focused on examining self-driving vehicles on rural roads, since most prior research has involved urban roads.

He says the project will aid policymakers in defining regulation by providing data on automated systems.

Testing will begin in the next few months and continue over four years.