The US Department of Transportation has awarded an Ohio group with a $17.8 million grant that will focus on automated driving systems that focus on Ohio's rural roads and highways. 

"The award of this grant shows that Ohio continues to be at the center of this new transportation technology era," said Ohio Governor Mike DeWine.  "Ohio is committed to being at the forefront of connected and autonomous vehicle technology development."

DriveOhio, an initiative of the Ohio Department of Transportation, focuses on automated and connected transportation technology.

According to state officials, testing of automated driving systems will be conducted in all seasons, day and night, as well as paved and unpaved roads. Some testing will also occur during periods of limited visibility and in work zones.

A driver will be behind the wheel at all times should human intervention be needed.

In regions where on-road testing is to take place, local officials take part in pre-planning and community meetings will be held in advance to inform the public.