News

PennDOT official provides view of the future with autonomous vehicles

May 24, 2017 by · Comments Off on PennDOT official provides view of the future with autonomous vehicles
Filed under: News 

Autonomous self-driving driverless vehicle with radar on the roadMany of us who have watched the development of autonomous vehicles see a variety of ways in which they will transform society. One of the most significant transformations will occur in the auto industry itself.

PennDOT Deputy Secretary Kurt Myers presented a glimpse into the future at PHIA’s latest policy breakfast this week. Myers projects that autonomous vehicles will change the way we utilize vehicles, from trucks to buses, as well as our own personal vehicles.

Once the technology spreads, cars will be seen less as status symbols, and more as commodities. Families are likely to own fewer vehicles as consumers will be able to arrange for their transportation needs on demand. In fact, Myers expects that autonomous vehicles will have multiple owners as ride-sharing becomes more of the norm.

He said the auto industry will be challenged to keep up with the new technology. Tech firms tend to produce products and services as rapidly as they are demanded. The auto industry will need to match that pace if it is to survive this tech revolution.

Myers assured the audience that autonomous vehicles will create business opportunities across the Commonwealth. Still, it may take at least a decade for the autonomous vehicle infrastructure to be fully in place.

 

News

PennDOT bids to be a proving ground for autonomous vehicle technology

January 11, 2017 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: News 

Autonomous self-driving driverless vehicle with radar on the roadLate last year, the U.S. Department of Transportation launched an effort to identify facilities that could serve as proving grounds for autonomous vehicle technology. PennDOT has responded to the solicitation, essentially saying, “Deal us in.”

Pennsylvania’s response includes the city of Pittsburgh, where a significant volume of autonomous vehicle testing already is underway in an urban setting, thanks mainly to the research and development efforts of Carnegie Mellon University. It also includes a closed track at Penn State University for low-speed testing and Pocono Raceway for higher-speed testing and multiple connected vehicles, also known as “platooning.”

“As we have said before in this forum, autonomous vehicles are much closer to a reality than many people are aware,” said PHIA Managing Director Jason Wagner. “The vast majority of traffic accidents are caused by human error, and while driverless vehicles may sound like a scary proposition at first, reducing or eliminating human errors will go a long way toward making highway travel safer. It’s exciting to have Pennsylvania in the middle of this technological advancement.”