Blacksburg, VA – Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) was awarded two U.S. Department of Transportation grants totaling $15 million to continue research on the safe integration of autonomous vehicles into U.S. roadways.
Out of the 73 proposals, seven grants were awarded by the Automated Driving System Demonstration Grants program. This program provides federal funding to projects in order to test how to safely integrate automated driving systems on U.S. roadways. VTTI was the only organization to receive two grants, each $7.5 million, to fund two separate projects: automated driving systems and public safety and automated trucks and mixed fleets. VTTI is the biggest transportation research institute in the U.S. with the largest group of driving safety researchers in the world and an infrastructure worth more than $110 million.
The first project, automated driving systems and public safety, will focus on showing how highly automated vehicles can safely adapt to encounters with public safety, which is very unpredictable by nature. VTTI is collaborating with stakeholders like Transurban, the Virginia Department of Transportation, public safety stakeholders, the Global Center for Automotive Performance, and a Consortium of Automotive Manufacturers organized through CAMP LLC. Testing of the public safety scenarios will take place on the I-95 Express Lanes which are operated by Transurban.
The second project, automated trucks and mixed fleets, is working with the trucking industry to provide clear guidelines on how to safely implement and benefit from trucks with automated driving systems. Along with the development of a fleet concept of operations, demonstrations will take place on public roadways.
“VTTI has assembled a world-class 17-member team that includes automated driving system technology developers, trucking fleets, six state departments of transportation, and other supporting organizations, to tackle this topic.”
– Martin Walker, VTTI Senior Research Associate
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