The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) will soon begin testing the use of autonomous buses.
The department will be issuing a request for proposals seeking technology partners to help safely demonstrate how autonomous technology works in a colder climate.
Testing will start with warm and cold weather trials at MnROAD, MnDOT’s test track facility near Albertville, Minn. MnROAD is used by researchers from around the world to test road-building materials and designs.
Once testing at MnROAD is successful, a live test could be conducted the week of the 2018 Super Bowl, which is being hosted in Minnesota. Additional on-road tests also may be conducted at various locations around the state.
In addition to preparing for the coming of autonomous technology, MnDOT is interested in the many benefits of using an autonomous bus, such as improving road safety and mobility services, reducing congestion, reducing energy consumption and having a cleaner environment.
This would not be MnDOT’s first research with autonomous or connected vehicles. MnDOT already has driver-assist systems in its snowplows. The agency is currently researching other smart in-vehicles technologies, such as lane departure and advanced curve-speed warning systems, roadway mapping for fog-line detection, and intersection collision-avoidance systems.
Source: Metro Magazine