U.S. Chooses 10 Official Self-Driving Car Test Sites
The locations were chosen from a pool of 60 applicants.
The United States government has arranged 10 official areas that researchers can use to test and analyze new self-driving car technology, according to reports.
Prior to President Donald Trump's inauguration Friday, the Transportation Department under the Obama administration chose several locations—two in California, one in Michigan, and one in Florida, among six other states—where autonomous cars could be put under the magnifying glass before potentially putting the general public at risk, Automotive News reports. The test sites will be shared by the various car and tech companies that are working to put self-driving cars on the road.
The 10 sites were chosen from a pool of more than 60 applicants, the Orlando Business Journal reports. That group included universities, cities, state departments of transportation, and various private corporations.
“The designated proving grounds will collectively form a community of practice around safe testing and deployment,” said former U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, according to Automotive News. “This group will openly share best practices for the safe conduct of testing."
Each of the facilities will be up and running by the beginning of 2018.
“Speed is of the essence here,” said Senator Gary Peters—an advocate for the test sites. “We’re in a very important race against Asian and European countries that are moving forward with this technology.”
The new sites should be plenty busy. As faithful readers of The Drive know, a wide range of companies—BMW, General Motors, Ford, Tesla, Uber, Volvo, and Google's Wayo, among others—are actively working to bring successful self-driving car technology to American highways in an effort to change how people get around.