The Governor’s Steering Committee on Autonomous and Connected Vehicle Testing and Deployment met at the Capitol on Nov. 15. Steven Cyra from HNTB presented on the federal Department of Transportation (USDOT) connected vehicle pilot in Tampa, Florida. The Tampa project, he said, used a mixture of USDOT funding and revenue from Tampa area tolls to test applications including wrong-way driving, pedestrian safety, transit efficiency, streetcar conflicts, and traffic management. USDOT, state and local transit authorities, and private companies and manufacturers partnered to recruit participants who subsequently had the connected vehicle technology installed in their own cars. While the pilot is still ongoing, Cyra said lessons learned so far include the need to focus on real-world problems, to source equipment early on in the process, and to foster cohesive collaboration between all partners involved in the testing process, including law enforcement.
Rep. Adam Neylon (R-Pewaukee) asked several questions about the efficiency of separate lanes for connected and autonomous vehicles in light of recent reports that Foxconn, and the Wisconsin DOT are considering such lanes for I-94. Others on the committee asked about how Wisconsin might adopt a test pilot similar to Tampa’s, but on a smaller scale.
The meeting concluded with Peter Rafferty of University of Wisconsin-Madison briefing the committee on a test autonomous shuttle on display in Madison. The committee had been scheduled to test ride the vehicle, but the crash of a similar vehicle in Las Vegas that week caused the National Transportation Safety Board to delay its approval for testing in Madison.
The comtittee will not meet in December, but plans to reconvene in January.