MDOT to Survey Private Sector on Autonomous Vehicle Testing Requirements

Fast facts:

– Autonomous vehicles have the potential to drastically reduce traffic crashes.

– Southeast Michigan is considered an ideal location for the autonomous vehicle industry.

– Automakers are already at work bringing semi-autonomous technology to the public.

 

July 31, 2012 — The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is conducting an online survey in collaboration with the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) in Ann Arbor. Survey responses from the autonomous vehicle industry will help MDOT and CAR determine what’s needed for a successful testing environment in southeast Michigan. Automobile, robotics and technology manufacturers can take the survey at www.cargroup.org/?module=Page&sID=mdot.

Autonomous vehicles have the ability to communicate with other vehicles and the surrounding environment to safely navigate to their destination. This technology holds the potential of drastically reducing traffic crashes by taking the human elements of reaction time and distraction out of the driving process.

“Automotive and technology researchers have brought this concept to the brink of reality,” said State Transportation Director Kirk T. Steudle. “The next steps include real-world testing to ensure the technology is working as planned and is meeting consumer needs.”

“This survey will play a pivotal role in determining what autonomous vehicle and robotics manufacturers need as a platform to further develop, test and deploy this technology,” Steudle added. “Southeast Michigan is already home to the most advanced automotive research and development facilities in the world, which makes us the ideal location for this emerging industry.”

            As CNET recently reported, automakers are working to make semi-autonomous technology available for mainstream vehicle buyers, which can reduce driving times and fuel consumption for everyone. A video demonstration can be viewed on YouTube.


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