The US Department of Transportation has announced the selection of 10 designated “proving ground” test pilot sites for autonomous vehicles, which are intended to play host to the rapid in-depth testing of the technology.
To put it in the language used by the press release, the 10 proving grounds will “foster innovations that can safely transform personal and commercial mobility, expand capacity, and open new doors to disadvantaged people and communities. These designations are a logical next step in the Department’s effort to advance the safe deployment of automated technology.”
Perhaps a bit of a fluffy statement, but presumably the selections will help to speed up the development of self-driving tech. The 10 selections are mostly unsurprising, as most have been the site of autonomous vehicle testing for some time now. They are:
- City of Pittsburgh and the Thomas D Larson Pennsylvania Transportation Institute
- Texas AV Proving Grounds Partnership
- US Army Aberdeen Test Center
- American Center for Mobility (ACM) at Willow Run
- Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) & GoMentum Station
- San Diego Association of Governments
- Iowa City Area Development Group
- University of Wisconsin-Madison
- Central Florida Automated Vehicle Partners
- North Carolina Turnpike Authority
“The designated proving grounds will collectively form a Community of Practice around safe testing and deployment,” stated Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “This group will openly share best practices for the safe conduct of testing and operations as they are developed, enabling the participants and the general public to learn at a faster rate and accelerating the pace of safe deployment.”
The 10 choices were chosen from a field or more than 60. These choices followed a Federal Register Notice solicitation for proposals from the Department of Transportation back in November 2016.
For more on the DOT’s autonomous vehicle work, click here or see this September 2016 press conference:
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