The Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) hosted the inaugural meeting of Accelerate Texas, a center founded by TTI and the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to focus on economic development to help position Texas as a leader in the commercialization of connected and automated vehicle (CV/AV) technologies.
On March 22 and 23, representatives from 19 private companies and public agencies convened in Austin to discuss issues and opportunities in CV/AV technologies, projects, policies, and the developing CV/AV ecosystem in Texas.
“We want everyone here today to be a part of developing CV/AV technologies in Texas and lead us into this exciting new future,” said Darran Anderson, TxDOT chief strategy and innovation officer, in addressing the meeting participants. “TxDOT is encouraging opportunities for CV/AV infrastructure — both within the state system and regionally.”
“The mission of Accelerate Texas is to research, develop, commercialize and implement CV/AV technologies to enhance the efficiency and safety of our transportation system,” said TTI Associate Agency Director Ed Seymour, who also directs the center. “With our vast transportation infrastructure, we have a unique opportunity to bring these technologies to Texas and invest in the businesses that are developing them. We appreciate the outstanding contributions of the public- and private-sector participants in the inaugural meeting of Accelerate Texas.”
The meeting participants identified four areas of priority focus and created work groups to make recommendations in the following areas:
- Communications and data sharing — defining the data environment and gaps to advance communications and information platforms in Texas for enabling the deployment of CVs/AVs.
- Procurement — developing model policies and procedures to guide procurement activities that could expedite the deployment of CV/AV technologies.
- Road readiness — assessing transportation agency management and planning strategies for roadway systems and their readiness to support CVs/AVs.
- Infrastructure standards — reviewing applicable civil, interoperability and related standards to address the new technologies, devices and materials for deployment in the CV/AV transportation world.
TTI and TxDOT are recruiting additional Accelerate Texas participants as well as opportunities for CV/AV technology development and demonstration/pilot opportunities.