Self-driving truck hits the road for debut on Ohio Turnpike

FILE - In this Sept. 29, 2011, file photo, vehicles drive along the Ohio Turnpike in Strongsville, Ohio. Ohio Turnpike Executive Director Randy Cole tells The Associated Press that testing of self-driving vehicles could begin on the toll road in late 2016 or in 2017. Cole says the route that takes Interstate 80 from Pennsylvania to Indiana is set up well for testing autonomous vehicles because it already has a fiber network along the entire roadway. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan, File)
FILE - In this Sept. 29, 2011, file photo, vehicles drive along the Ohio Turnpike in Strongsville, Ohio. Ohio Turnpike Executive Director Randy Cole tells The Associated Press that testing of self-driving vehicles could begin on the toll road in late 2016 or in 2017. Cole says the route that takes Interstate 80 from Pennsylvania to Indiana is set up well for testing autonomous vehicles because it already has a fiber network along the entire roadway. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan, File)

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — A self-driving big rig is rolling down the Ohio Turnpike for the first time.

The debut of the self-driving truck on Thursday is part of Ohio’s $15 million investment in advanced self-driving highway technology.

State officials say the turnpike is a good place to start the testing because it’s a relatively straight and flat route with wide lane markings.

Turnpike officials say there will be a driver in the truck as a backup during testing.

Ohio is among several states competing to play a role in the testing and research of autonomous vehicles, which is advancing.

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