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Texas chosen as testing ground for automated vehicles

Posted Feb. 3, 2017

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Texas offers a varied range of automated vehicle testing environments, from high-speed barrier-separated managed lanes to low-speed urban environments. (Photo courtesy of University of Texas Center for Transportation Research)

The U.S. Department of Transportation has named Texas a national Automated Vehicle Proving Ground for the testing of connected and automated vehicle technologies. The designation establishes Texas as a leader in the research and development of new transportation technologies that could make roads safer and less congested.

Locally, tests will be conducted at the University of Texas-Arlington campus, Arlington streets and along the I-30 corridor and managed lanes.

“With five of the nation’s 15 fastest-growing cities in Texas and our population expected to potentially double by the year 2050, Texas must be a leader in new technology that addresses transportation challenges,” said Texas Department of Transportation Deputy Executive Director Marc Williams. “This partnership puts Texas at the forefront of automated vehicle technologies that likely will shape the future of transportation around the world.”

Texas’ booming population and economy make it an ideal test site for automated and connected vehicle technology. This technology is increasingly being developed and tailored to address congestion and increase safety, by reducing human error. It also offers opportunities to improve how people and goods move throughout their communities and the nation at large. Testing it, in different environments and uses, is an important step in assuring these technologies will be safe and reliable.

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