CCTA joins forces with MnDOT to expand autonomous vehicle testing

CCTA will have access to MnROAD facilities and MnDOT will have access to GoMentum Station

October 16, 2020
CCTA joins forces with MnDOT to expand autonomous vehicle testing
Image: Contra Costa Transportation Authority

The Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) recently announced a new partnership with the Minnesota DOT (MnDOT) to expand autonomous vehicle (AV) testing opportunities.

CCTA says MnDOT’s Connected and Automated Vehicle (CAV) team is actively working to advance research and deployment of intelligent transportation systems, connected vehicle (CV) applications, and AV technologies with the help of MnROAD–the state’s cold weather pavement testing facility.

MnROAD has over 50 unique test sections on several roadways, including two 3.5-mile, high-speed corridors on I-94 and a 2.5-mile, low-speed, closed access road. MnDOT also partners with Camp Ripley, a military and civilian training facility operated by the Minnesota National Guard, which has a 4.3-mile emergency vehicle operations course. With some of the most extreme weather conditions in the nation, Minnesota offers testing simulations that cannot be replicated elsewhere, which provides unique opportunities to test the safety features of CV and AV technologies.

Through this partnership, CCTA will have access to MnROAD facilities and likewise, MnDOT will have access to GoMentum Station in Concord, California—one of the largest secure connected and automated vehicle proving grounds in the country. GoMentum Station augments MnDOT’s testing with varied terrain and real-life infrastructure including roads, bridges, tunnels, intersections, and parking lots provide the environment needed to accelerate testing of the first and last-mile applications, and the ability to safely test technology to its limits. CCTA also has many long-standing research and manufacturing partnerships that offer coordination opportunities for MnDOT.

“With this new collaboration, we’ll be able to test in conditions that just can’t be replicated here in Contra Costa,” Randy Iwasaki, Executive Director of CCTA, said in a statement. “Our partnership with a state agency like MnDOT will open new doors to shared research opportunities for a small agency like ours, and it’s exciting to be partnering with an agency that has similar goals in the arena of connected and automated vehicle technology.”

“Minnesota is excited to partner with one of the nation’s leading institutions in this work as we explore innovations in smart mobility, connected and automated vehicles, and how advancing technologies are impacting communities,” Kristin White, MnDOT CAV-X Executive Director, said in a statement. “Through collaboration and information sharing, we’re committing to learning from CCTA, sharing best practices, and together advancing research that supports our regions and national goals. We believe this partnership can be a model for other regions to advance smart mobility.”

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SOURCE: Contra Costa Transportation Authority

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