The U.S. Department of Transportation has announced Florida as one of its first participants in the Automated Vehicle Transparency and Engagement for Safety Testing Initiative – a new USDOT-led effort to improve the safety and testing transparency for automated driving systems
“The AV TEST Initiative is a monumental step into the future of automated vehicles, and we are proud Florida is one of the first states to participate in such an important effort led by USDOT and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration,” said Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Kevin J. Thibault, P.E.
Thibault adds, “As Florida continues to grow, it is essential to provide a transportation system that meets the needs of our residents and visitors. Florida’s engagement in this initiative shows the continued commitment to improving safety, enhancing mobility and inspiring innovation on our state’s roadways.”
Florida joins seven other states and nine companies in this unprecedented effort which will involve nationwide public events and an online, public-facing platform to increase public engagement and awareness, promote safety and innovation and strengthen relationships between federal, state and local government partners. The other participating states are California, Maryland, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Utah. The nine companies include Beep, Cruise, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Local Motors, Navya, Nuro, Toyota, Uber, and Waymo.
In 2019, Florida signed the AV legislation into law to encourage the testing, implementation, and deployment of emerging technologies. FDOT recognizes the development and testing of automated driving systems are important for improving safety and enhancing mobility for all road users. The department is also in the process of constructing SunTrax, the first state-owned autonomous vehicle testing facility in the country, which is estimated to be completed in late 2021.
For more information about the AV Test Initiative, visit nhtsa.gov/avtest.