Jaworzno is a city in southern Poland west of Krakow and near the border with Slovakia. It has a population of approximately 95,000. On August 1o, authorities for the city signed a letter of intent with Comtegra and the Polish Ministry of Transport to begin mapping the entire city so that autonomous cars can operate there.
Thanks to an ongoing City of Ideas process, Jaworzno has created a special legal framework for the city that supports the operation of autonomous cars and trucks, most of which will be powered by electricity. “Taking over Jaworzno as an experimental zone for testing electric and autonomous cars is one of the concepts of e-mobility development in the city,” says Paweł Silbert, Mayor of Jaworzno.
Comtegra will be responsible for developing legal, technical, and organizational guidelines to ensure the safety of the roads designated as acceptable for autonomous vehicles. According to Piotr Jelski, chairman of the Comtegra board of directors, the scanning of the city itself will last about a month. After that work is completed, the next task is tagging, which will last at least a few more months. Jelski says that development of autonomous vehicles is inevitable, and even in Poland, a nation that produces few cars and trucks locally.
“We are on the side of responsibility for the shape and future of this movement in the country,” says Jelski. “Today, we prove that even a country without a highly developed car industry is able to make a significant contribution to the global trend.”
Jaworzno is also thinking about bringing a Hyperloop test track to the city, using land previously utilized by a railroad. Whatever the future of transportation, the city and surrounding area intend to form a place where new ideas and technologies can be nourished and shepherded toward fruition.
Hopefully, such local initiatives will thrive and grow in other Polish communities and in cities around the world.
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