From October 11-13, 2023, Transurban North America, in collaboration with partners such as the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI), showcased connected autonomous vehicle (CAV) demonstrations on the 395 Express Lanes near the U.S. capital.
Why It Matters
The testing of CAVs on public roads signifies a significant leap towards safer and smarter transportation solutions. As vehicles become increasingly autonomous, the need for advanced infrastructure that facilitates clear communication between the vehicle, road, and first responders becomes imperative. This initiative funded by a $7.5 million USDOT grant, propels the vision of autonomous driving forward.
- Transurban’s legacy:
- Operates the 495, 95, and 395 Express Lanes.
- Has a history of innovation, including the U.S.’s longest reversible road and a unique dynamic pricing structure.
- Aims to leverage their infrastructure for safer autonomous travel, making roads smarter and more communicative.
- The demonstrations:
- Were aimed at assessing how CAVs respond to emergency situations, such as encountering first responders or navigating work zones.
- Included scenarios where CAVs detected hazards using roadway technology, navigated around first responders, and formed tight vehicle formations based on real-time info.
- Highlighted the synergy between smart roads and smart vehicles.
- A follow-up round of tests is slated for November on the 395 Express Lanes.
- Transurban’s broader vision:
- Since 2017, the company has embarked on global CAV testing to understand roadside and vehicle tech interactions.
- The recent tests were the twelfth of its kind, coming after studies on fully and semi-autonomous vehicles and driverless heavy trucking.
- Transurban recently partnered with Silicon Valley’s Plus to propel autonomous trucking research in Australia.
Transurban North America, with its dedication to innovative transportation solutions, is pioneering the pathway for safer autonomous travel. By harnessing advanced infrastructure technology and collaborating with key partners, Transurban aims to reshape the future of road travel, emphasizing safety, efficiency, and smart integration.