Pilot seeks to encourage testing and information
sharing around automated vehicle technologies
The U.S. Department of Transportation recently selected the Central Florida Automated Vehicle Partnership as one of 10 proving ground designations throughout the country that will foster innovations that can safely transform personal and commercial mobility, expand capacity, and open new doors to disadvantaged people and communities. According to a press release, these designations are a logical next step in the Department’s effort to advance the safe deployment of automated vehicle (AV) technology.
“Central Florida has many unique attributes for an AV proving ground that set it apart as the premier location for this designation,” said Jay Trumbull, chairman of the Commission. “The Partnership includes state-of-the-art high-tech facilities and committed local and state governments, working together to further the safety and use of AV technology on our streets to create a more sustainable community.”
The Central Florida region has developed a committed team of quality educational institutions and laboratories – including Florida Polytechnic University, the University of Central Florida, and Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University-Florida State University – where AV technology will continue to be developed, refined and simulated. This proving ground offers controlled testing environments and laboratories at NASA and the new state-of-the art SunTrax facility – a purpose-built facility for the controlled testing of tolling and AV technology.
The final team members include Florida Department of Transportation and the City of Orlando’s local and regional transportation networks that provide a continuous network of roadways that allow for live AV deployment. The Central Florida proving ground offers testing environments include all modes of transportation including pedestrian, bicycle, transit, passenger vehicle and freight.
The Partnership joins together to draw from the strengths of each committed partner to provide a versatile network for the AV proving ground that includes all phases in the testing process from simulations, controlled testing and deployment.
The designated proving grounds will collectively form a Community of Practice around safe testing and deployment. 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 proving grounds will also provide critical insights into optimal big data usage through automated vehicle testing and will serve as a foundation for building a community of practice around automated vehicle research.
The Florida Transportation Commission is an appointed body that provides performance and fiscal oversight of the FDOT, and makes transportation policy recommendations to the Governor and the Legislature.