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.

CONTRA COSTA TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY ANNOUNCES BAIDU AS A GOMENTUM PARTNER

Baidu, the leading Chinese language Internet search provider, joined CCTA and GoMentum Station’s growing list of international partners to test a fleet of its next-generation autonomous vehicles at GoMentum’s secure, 5,000-acre test site in Concord, California.

“Baidu’s technology achievements go beyond developing search engine algorithms—the company is recognized as one of the global leaders in Artificial Intelligence,” CCTA Executive Director Randell Iwasaki said. “Artificial Intelligence will play a critical part in developing fully autonomous vehicles. As the managing entity of GoMentum Station, CCTA is proud to play a role in Baidu’s autonomous vehicle research and development objectives.”

GoMentum Station contains 20-miles of paved, city-like roadway grids, buildings and other urban infrastructure, providing a realistic environment that will help accelerate the development of automated and connected vehicle technologies. Baidu’s testing at GoMentum Station builds on the testing the company does regularly on public roads.

“The opportunity to test our vehicles at GoMentum Station will ensure that we’re putting only the safest autonomousdriving vehicles on public roads,” said Jingao Wang, Senior Director, Baidu Intelligent Driving Group. “Its ability to offermixed road conditions and various scenarios in a secure environment will provide our Apollo open autonomous driving platform with valuable data to further advance its technologies.”

Baidu is the latest international partner joining the increasing number of collaborators who are signing up to test autonomous technology at GoMentum Station. GoMentum Station was recently designated by USDOT as one of 10 approved autonomous vehicles proving grounds in the nation.

GoMentum Station and Netherlands Announce International Partnership to Test Autonomous Vehicles

Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) Executive Director Randell Iwasaki announced today CCTA’s intent to partner with The Netherlands to use the GoMentum Station proving grounds to move the smart e-mobility market forward. Representatives from CCTA and The Netherlands met on July 7, 2017, to sign a letter of intent to test its autonomous vehicles at GoMentum Station, located at the former naval weapons station in Concord.

“Innovation knows no boundaries,” CCTA Executive Director Randell Iwasaki said. “As the managing entity for GoMentum Station, CCTA is excited to partner with The Netherlands and its Coast-to-Coast e-Mobility Program for research and testing. GoMentum Station is a secure, 5,000 acre test site—a premiere location to try out driverless technology.”

“Coast-to-Coast e-Mobility is very excited to join forces with CCTA and GoMentum and to see that Amber Mobility which was part of the successful mission with Minister Kamp and High Royal Highness Prince Constantijn in January, will launch the innovative smart e-mobility solution in California and the US at large,” says Peter van Deventer, Diplomatic Liaison, “GoMentum and CCTA are leaders on the world of autonomous transportation testing and are very successful in stimulating Smart e-Mobility innovation. They also strongly focus on research and development. They are a great partner to the transatlantic cooperation between The Netherlands and California and their ambitions to accelerate the introduction of smarter and cleaner transportation.”

This partnership agreement is just one of several actions taken by California State and Dutch Agencies since 2013, in an effort to advance innovation that will help combat climate change. The Netherlands and California have committed to stringent climate change action programs to meet or exceed 2050 goals in terms of greenhouse gas reductions, sustainable energy generation and transport safety.

 

Read more about the Coast-to-Coast Smart E-Mobility Program at coast2coastev.org

GoMentum Station and First Transit Enter Exclusive Partnership to Further Autonomous Innovation and Research

GoMentum Station announces a partnership agreement with First Transit which will foster research and innovation in the field of shared autonomous vehicle (SAV) application and technology research.

First Transit will join GoMentum Station and use the facility as a test site for innovative transit applications, including a pilot project with EasyMile and the Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) to deploy the first SAV shuttle on public roads in the United States. This pilot project, which began in late 2016, recently launched the second phase of testing at Bishop Ranch, an office park in San Ramon, California.

First Transit is responsible for providing staffing, maintenance and operational support for the two SAV shuttles during the testing and deployment phases of the program.

“The partnership with GoMentum Station allows us to identify new mobility solutions for our customers using SAV technology,” said Brad Thomas, president of First Transit. “We see the broad application of SAV technology as a great first and last mile solution plus countless other transportation challenges.”

GoMentum Station in Concord, California is a 5,000-acre test facility where the CCTA and its partners are accelerating the next generation of transportation technologies. Named by the U.S. Department of Transportation as one of ten federally designated automated vehicle proving grounds, GoMentum Station is the largest secure test track of its kind.

“As a leader in innovative transportation solutions, we are proud to have First Transit as one of our exclusive collaboration partners at GoMentum Station,” said Randell Iwasaki, Executive Director of CCTA. “The partnership with First Transit expands the international reach of GoMentum Station, and will provide a unique opportunity for multi-modal testing with a firm that specializes in transit operations. This will enable us to explore how automated vehicles can complement and enhance existing mobility options.”

Preparing Artificial Intelligence to Safely Transport a Vehicle’s Passengers

CONCORD, Calif. — Machines today can do incredible things. Computer algorithms are advanced enough to best world champions in chess or the multi-week champion on Jeopardy! If you ask that same chess-playing computer to a game of checkers, however, complications arise.

While said computer may excel at one task, using that same computing power to solve an equally or even less complex problem is the largest hurdle for artificial intelligence (AI) developers. During a discussion on how AI will effect mobility at GoMentum Station’s Redefining Mobility Summit on March 30, a series of speakers took on this question head on.

Read more at Government Technology.

Self-Driving Buses in California

SAN RAMON, CA — A pair of $250,000 autonomous buses began driving around an empty San Francisco Bay Area parking lot on Monday (March 6), preparing to move themselves onto a local public road in California’s first pilot program for a self-diving vehicle without a steering wheel or human operator on city streets.

California and other states are weighing the opportunities of becoming a hub of testing a technology that is seen as the future of transportation and the risks from giving up control of a large, potentially dangerous vehicle.
Read the full article and see the video at WFMY News 2.

Shared Autonomous Vehicles Make Debut at Bishop Ranch as Part of Pilot Program

San Ramon, CA – March 6, 2017 – Bishop Ranch, EasyMile, GoMentum Station and the Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) announced today that two EZ10 Shared Autonomous Vehicles (SAV) will begin operation at Bishop Ranch, northern California’s premier business park in San Ramon.

This marks the beginning of the second phase of testing for a pilot demonstration project authorized as part of California Assembly Bill 1592, which enables testing of electric, low-speed, multi-passenger, autonomous vehicles that are not equipped with a steering wheel, brake pedal, accelerator or operator. This is the first such pilot program in California.

Read the full story at East County Today.

Autonomous Shuttles Inch Around San Ramon’s Bishop Ranch Monday

Not exactly ready for roles in the “Fast and Furious” franchise, but for followers of autonomous technology it was still interesting to see a pair of upended British phone boxes whining around Bishop Ranch virtually unchaperoned Monday.

The driverless gizmos, preternaturally slow by American standards, are the first passenger shuttles of their kind to be deployed anywhere in the nation – and should be an everyday sight at Bishop Ranch by year’s end.

Read the full story and see the video at News 24/680.

Self-driving bus with no back-up driver nears California street

A pair of $250,000 autonomous buses began driving around an empty San Francisco Bay Area parking lot on Monday, preparing to move onto a local public road in California’s first pilot program for a self-driving vehicle without steering wheel or human operator.

California and other states are weighing the opportunities of becoming a hub of testing a technology that is seen as the future of transportation and the risks from giving up active control of a large, potentially dangerous vehicle.

Read the full story at Reuters.

California Prepares for Self-driving Buses with No Back-up Drivers

A pair of $250,000 autonomous buses began driving around an empty San Francisco Bay Area parking lot on Monday, preparing to move onto local public roads in California’s first pilot program for a self-driving vehicle without a steering wheel or human operator.

California and other states are weighing the opportunities of becoming a hub for testing a technology that is seen as the future of transportation as well as the risks from giving up active control of large, potentially dangerous vehicles.

Read the full article at Newsweek.