The federal Transportation Department announced a network of autonomous driving pilot programs on the final full day of the Obama administration.
The 10 "proving ground pilot sites" would facilitate testing of self-driving technology and promote the sharing of information between participants. The partners met broad criteria regarding safety planning, regulators compliance and information-sharing capabilities.
“This group will openly share best practices for the safe conduct of testing and operations as they are developed, enabling the participants and the general public to learn at a faster rate and accelerating the pace of safe deployment,” departing DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a statement.
The network includes the Texas AV Proving Grounds Partnership, the North Carolina Turnpike Authority, Central Florida Automated Vehicle Partners, the Iowa City Area Development Group, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the American Center for Mobility at Willow Run, Mich., Maryland's U.S. Army Aberdeen Test Center, the City of Pittsburgh and Thomas D. Larson Pennsylvania Transportation Institute, the San Diego Association of Governments and California's Contra Costa Transportation Authority & GoMentum Station.
The Obama administration, during the president's final year in office, developed a federal policy for self-driving vehicles — including pilot programs — in an effort to avoid a patchwork of state laws that could hinder the technology.