California DMV permits driverless shuttle to test on public roads (Smart Cities Dive)

Operating the Easymile vehicle on public roads is actually the third phase of testing for this initiative, following two years of tests at AV proving grounds and in parking lots. The 585-acre Bishop Ranch site was reportedly the selected spot due to its reputation as a “dynamic center for modern business.”

Though officials have called this latest achievement a milestone for California, they’ve also made it clear the permission for this initiative is separate from the California DMV’s AV testing program that has been underway since 2014. AVs have actually been tested across the state for quite some time now, making California a leader in autonomous technology. Last week, the DMV even announced it will allow auto companies to test their self-driving vehicles on public roads without a human safety driver in the vehicle, following permitting processes in April.

Read the full story at Smart Cities Drive

Testing of First Autonomous Shuttle on Public Roads in California Begins (The Registery)

SAN RAMON, CA – Today, the Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) and GoMentum Station announced that permission was granted and testing of autonomous vehicles on public roads will begin at Bishop Ranch, the largest mixed-use business community in Northern California, located in the city of San Ramon. This is the first time the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has allowed a shared autonomous vehicle to travel on public roads in the state.

CCTA is leading a pilot demonstration project testing electric, low-speed, multi-passenger autonomous vehicles manufactured by Easymile, that are not equipped with a steering wheel, brake pedal, or accelerator. The California State Legislature passed pioneering legislation in 2016, Assembly Bill 1592, to allow for the pilot program. After successful testing at the GoMentum Station autonomous vehicle proving grounds in Concord, California and in parking lots at Bishop Ranch, CCTA is advancing to the third phase of testing. CCTA received permission from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in October 2017 and permission from the California DMV in January 2018, to operate the EasyMile shuttle on public streets within the business park.

Read the full story at The Registery

1st shared autonomous vehicle given permission to travel on public roads in California (ABC 7 KGO-TV)

SAN RAMON, Calif. (KGO) — No driver. No steering wheel. No brake pedal. No accelerator. No problem.

Two EasyMile shuttles received their license plates from the DMV allowing them to become the first shared autonomous vehicles to travel on public roads in California.

This morning, one of the shuttles made its first ride on to the public road within the Bishop Ranch business park in San Ramon.
The Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) is leading the pilot demonstration project.

Read the full story at ABC 7 KGO-TV

California’s first driverless bus hits the road in San Ramon (ABC 7 KGO-TV)

SAN RAMON, Calif. (KGO) — History was made at a quiet street corner in San Ramon Tuesday as a little red bus pulled out onto a public road with nobody at the wheel.

“That stop sign demarks the difference between private property and a public road,” said Contra Costa Transportation Authority executive director Randy Iwasaki, seated in the front of the bus as it smoothly came to a stop.

The bus patiently waited for passing cars as it flashed its LED turn signal. Then, with the polite ding of a bell — a real, analog bell — it pulled out into traffic.

Read the full story at ABC 7 KGO-TV

Bishop Ranch Rolls Out First Autonomous Vehicles in California to Carry Passengers on Public Roads (KCBS AM740)

SAN RAMON (KPIX 5) — California officials have approved the first driverless automated shuttle for testing on public streets at Bishop Ranch Business Park in San Ramon.

While the Easy Mile EZ10 autonomous shuttles aren’t big or fast and still aren’t quite available for public use just yet, the vehicles have made a major breakthrough in becoming the first automated vehicles intended for public transportation to get a license for testing in California.

Read the full story at CBS KPIX 5

Sumitomo Electric Becomes First Tier One Automotive Supplier to Partner With GoMentum Station

GoMentum Station is proud to announce a new partnership with Sumitomo Electric, a respected tier one automotive supplier of electronics that support autonomous and connected vehicles.  Sumitomo Electric is the first supplier to collaborate with GoMentum Station and its partners on advancing automated vehicle technology. Sumitomo Electric’s research and development subsidiary in Silicon Valley, Innovation Core SEI, leads the collaboration.

Designated as one of ten automated vehicle proving grounds by the United States Department of Transportation, GoMentum Station features more than 20 miles of paved roadway including city-like roadway grids, twin 1400 foot tunnels, overcrossings, undercrossings, railroad tracks, a mini-city, and other urban infrastructure that provides a realistic environment for testing automated and connected technologies.

Sumitomo Electric specializes in the development of materials, components, and software for critical functions including vehicle-to-vehicle, vehicle-to-infrastructure, and intra-vehicle communications, sensors, and vehicle safety. With 248,000 employees worldwide, Sumitomo Electric delivers technology for most popular automotive brands. “Tier one” suppliers directly provide the majority of components used by automotive manufacturers.

“Sumitomo Electric products form the ‘nervous systems’ of the latest vehicles, and our efforts with GoMentum Station complement testing at our own testbeds in Japan and elsewhere,” explains Mark Jansen, head of Autonomous and Connected Vehicles for Sumitomo in Silicon Valley. “Our goal is to test future vehicle developments in real-world settings, safely and at scale. GoMentum Station offers a uniquely realistic setting close to our Silicon Valley lab, and we’re looking forward to accelerating our advanced technology testing at this world-class proving ground.”

As the managing entity for GoMentum Station’s activities, the Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) is excited about the new partnership.  “Not only is Sumitomo Electric a well-regarded tier one supplier, they are also an excellent community partner”, says CCTA Executive Director Randy Iwasaki.  “I have been impressed with the company’s focused efforts to support local hospitality businesses in Concord.  Their partnership with GoMentum Station is not only advancing much needed autonomous vehicle technology, but is already benefitting the local economy.”

CONTRA COSTA TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY WELCOMES SINGAPORE, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND TECH INNOVATORS TO GOMENTUM STATION

Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) Executive Director Randell Iwasaki announced today the addition of two international partners. A collaborative agreement between Land Transport Authority of Singapore (LTA) and HMI Technologies from Australia and New Zealand was signed with CCTA and GoMentum Station to explore opportunities to work cooperatively on demonstration projects and share knowledge to advance Intelligent Transportation Systems and autonomous vehicle (AV) research.

“We are pleased to welcome two more leading innovators to GoMentum Station, ”CCTA Executive DirectorRandell Iwasaki said. “The agreement with HMI Technologies and LTA not only strengthens the driverless vehicle research connection between government entities and private innovators, it also accelerates developing intelligent transport systems that can be used worldwide.”

LTA began its AV tests in 2015 to facilitate and pave the way for the future deployment of shared autonomous transport modes. Deploying AVs for shared transport will help LTA enhance its first and last mile commute and bring greater mobility to the elderly and other commuters who may have difficulties in taking public transportation today.

Earlier this year, HMI began testing autonomous vehicles around Christchurch Airport, New Zealand, conducted safely on private airport roads. In addition, HMI Technologies is now conducting AV tests in Sydney and Melbourne, Australia, and has recently announced the manufacture of its own range of AV shuttles, known as OHMIO. Bringing HMI Technologies test vehicles to GoMentum Station is part of HMI’s commitment to activate more autonomous vehicle trials in varying test environments. The driverless mobility revolution is aimed to make road travel more efficient, reduce congestion resulting in less CO2 emissions; and at the same time reduce traffic accidents, fatalities and injuries.

DRIVERLESS TECHNOLOGY ADVANCES WITH PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN TOYOTA RESEARCH INSTITUTE AND GOMENTUM STATION

Toyota Research Institute (TRI) has signed an agreement with GoMentum Station to test autonomous vehicle technology at the 5,000 acre autonomous vehicle proving grounds located in Concord, California. Managed by the Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA), this partnership enables TRI to expand closed course testing of its two-prong approach to vehicle automation – Guardian and Chauffeur.

Established in 2015, TRI has made rapid advancements in its research into automated driving and recently demonstrated Platform 2.1, its new advanced safety research vehicle that allows for testing of both Guardian and Chauffeur in a single vehicle. In the Guardian approach, the human driver maintains vehicle control, and the automated driving system operates in the background, monitoring for potential crash situations. It can intervene to protect vehicle occupants when needed. Chauffeur is TRI’s version of full vehicle autonomy where all occupants are passengers as the car drives itself. Both approaches use the same technology stack of sensors and cameras. TRI’s vision is to offer drivers a choice by making vehicles safer and driving both more fun and convenient.

TRI will use GoMentum Station for further testing of Platform 2.1, which includes a new high-fidelity LIDAR system that provides a longer sensing range, a much denser point cloud to better detect positions of three-dimensional objects, and a field of view that is dynamically configurable. With proximity to TRI research headquarters located in Los Altos, Calif., GoMentum Station augments TRI’s public road testing with testing of extreme driving events that are unsafe to conduct on public roads. GoMentum’s varied terrain, and real-life infrastructure including roads, bridges, tunnels, intersections and parking lots provide the environment needed to accelerate testing of the “difficult miles” needed to advance both Guardian and Chauffeur.

“The addition of GoMentum Station to TRI’s arsenal of automated vehicle test locations allows us to create hazardous driving scenarios for advancing capabilities of both Guardian and Chauffeur and further develop our technology,” said Ryan Eustice, TRI vice president of autonomous driving.

The next generation of transportation technology has found its birthplace in the Bay Area with GoMentum Station. Like all cutting edge research efforts, however, great facilities are not enough. Collaboration is critical to fostering innovation. TRI’s work at GoMentum Station will advance research that can drastically improve lives in Contra Costa County and worldwide.

“The benefits of driverless technology are many, but the most important one is increased safety. TRI’s work in the artificial intelligence arena is vital to advancing autonomous vehicle technology,” states Randy Iwasaki, Executive Director of CCTA. “The statistics are clear: lives will be saved by reducing a vehicle’s reliance on human drivers, and we are excited to see the progress TRI will make to perfect driverless and driver-aided technology at GoMentum Station.”

“The city of Concord is very excited to welcome Toyota Research Institute and its autonomous technology to GoMentum Station,” said Laura Hoffmeister, mayor of the city of Concord. “The city continues to serve the region as an autonomous technology hub, and we believe this partnership will continue to support economic growth and spur excitement for high-tech jobs in our community.”

AAA AND GOMENTUM STATION ANNOUNCE EXCLUSIVE PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT

AAA Northern California, Nevada & Utah is proud to announce its partnership with GoMentum Station and the Contra Costa Transportation Authority on an exclusive agreement to study and test how autonomous vehicles can be safely implemented for public use. This marks another key step in the auto club’s larger plan to help its Members make the transition to new forms of transportation that can be safer, more convenient and improve lives.

“From the horseless carriage to the driverless car, AAA has always embraced advancements that can provide our Members increased safety and options in mobility,” said Tim Condon, CEO of AAA Northern California, Nevada & Utah. “With our ability to study and test autonomous vehicles, AAA is at the forefront of cutting edge technology that has the enormous potential to save lives and help people enjoy life more.”

According to AAA’s 2017 survey, three-quarters of U.S. drivers reported being skeptical of riding in a self-driving car, and only 10 percent reported that they’d actually feel safer sharing the roads with driverless vehicles. With a seat at the table, AAA can accelerate adoption of technologies that increase safety while bringing Members along for the journey and learn about exciting new developments in transportation through a trusted, independent source that has a long heritage in motor vehicle safety.

The Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) operates GoMentum Station, the nation’s largest secure proving grounds for connected and autonomous technology. “With our multi-faceted approach to redefining mobility, we believe that informing and educating the public about the advances in technology is just as important as the connected and automated technology itself”, stated CCTA Executive Director Randy Iwasaki. “We believe that AAA is the best partner to introduce the public to the possibilities that come with this new technology and be a resource as autonomous vehicles begin to change the way we travel.”

Designated as one of ten automated vehicles proving grounds by the United States Department of Transportation, GoMentum Station features more than 20 miles of paved roadway including city-like roadway grids, twin 1400’ tunnels, overcrossings, undercrossings, railroad tracks, a mini-city, and other urban infrastructure that provides a realistic environment for testing automated and connected technologies.

CONTRA COSTA TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY RECEIVES PERMISSION FROM NHTSA TO TEST SHARED AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES ON PUBLIC ROADS

The Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) received permission from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to test shared autonomous vehicles on public roads within the 600-acre Bishop Ranch business park, where CCTA is leading a pilot demonstration project operating electric, low-speed, multi-passenger autonomous vehicles that are not equipped with a steering wheel, brake pedal, accelerator or operator. Authorized by California Assembly Bill 1592, CCTA is positioned to be the first to devise and fully implement a sustained, comprehensive autonomous vehicle and transit pilot program of this kind in the United States where autonomous vehicles will be sharing the road with drivers, pedestrians and cyclists.

In March 2017, CCTA, GoMentum Station, Bishop Ranch and EasyMile announced the second phase of testing for the EasyMile shared autonomous vehicles at the Bishop Ranch business park in San Ramon, California. Advancing to the third phase of testing – which includes operating on public roads within the business park – entails obtaining permission from both NHTSA and the California DMV. CCTA staff are in active discussions with DMV to provide the information required by state statute and secure permission for this next phase of activity on the pilot program.

‘‘We are excited to be at the cutting edge of innovation in driverless technology with one of the first pilot demonstrations of shared autonomous vehicles on public roads”, said Randy Iwasaki, Executive Director of the Contra Costa Transportation Authority. “This technology offers an innovative new approach to helping travelers get to transit stations, business districts, and other local amenities without the hassle of driving and parking. We expect that these vehicles will solve the so-called ‘‘first-and-last-mile’’ challenge – a solution that could be replicated by many urban and suburban communities across the United States.” Shared, electric, autonomous vehicles will also dramatically reduce the need for parking, total vehicle miles traveled, and overall greenhouse gas emissions.

During the third phase of testing, members of the general public will not be able to ride the shared autonomous vehicles on public streets. Only predetermined testers and evaluators chosen from employees from various employers within Bishop Ranch will be able to ride the vehicles as they traverse public streets within the Bishop Ranch business park. EasyMile shuttles are designed to solve first-and-last mile commuting challenges, providing a zero-emission alternative to help residents connect to their transit centers and reduce congestion in their communities.