Contra Costa Times: Honda to Join Mercedes-Benz in Testing Self-driving Cars at Concord Naval Weapons Station

(L. White, 2015) – CONCORD – In the latest proof of the Bay Area’s prominence in self-driving vehicle technology, Honda announced it will partner with the Contra Costa Transportation Authority to test automated and connected vehicle technology at the Concord Naval Weapons Station.

Read Full Article Here

White, Lisa. “Honda to Join Mercedes-Benz in Testing Self-driving Cars at Concord Naval Weapons Station.” ContraCostaTimes.com. Contra Costa Times, 31 Mar. 2015. Web. 31 Mar. 2015. <http://www.contracostatimes.com/breaking-news/ci_27820832/honda-join-mercedes-benz-testing-self-driving-cars>.

Joint Press Release: Honda Testing Innovative Automated Vehicle Technology at Bay Area Navy Base

CONCORD, CA – Today, Honda announced that it has commenced testing of its automated and connected vehicle technology at the Concord Naval Weapons Station (CNWS) in the San Francisco Bay Area. Under the terms of an agreement reached with the Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) in conjunction with the City of Concord, Honda will use the newly branded “GoMentum Station” test-bed site at the CNWS to advance its technologies. Honda also plans to participate in a consortium committed to making Contra Costa County home to a premier testing facility for automated drive technologies.

GoMentum Station, a 5,000-acre facility, is the largest secure test-bed of its kind, located at the CNWS. The CNWS was officially closed in 2007 and is currently in the process of being transferred to the City of Concord. 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. The public will not have access to the test-bed site, and the automated vehicle testing will be restricted to GoMentum Station.

Honda will leverage modified versions of Acura’s flagship RLX sedan for development and testing at GoMentum Station. New prototype sensors and cameras added to the vehicle will work hand-in hand with the extensive array of forward, reverse and corner sensors that enable a suite of AcuraWatch™ safety and driver assistive technologies on the production RLX.

Supporting Statements
“The Concord Naval Weapons Station is an ideal proving ground to augment Honda’s research and development efforts because it is a controlled environment that can be continuously modified to represent a wide array of settings that an automated vehicle must navigate, especially for urban operation,” said Paul Cummings, Group Lead for Systems Integration, Automated Vehicle Research, Honda Research Institute USA. “This program will bring a new level of robustness to Honda’s industry-leading efforts in the area of automated and connected vehicle technology.”

“The Contra Costa Transportation Authority is committed to supporting innovative research that will influence transportation and enhance safety for all road users,” said Randy Iwasaki, Executive Director. “We are very excited to add Honda as a partner as we prepare for the launch of GoMentum Station. Their impressive study of automated and connected vehicle technology will help us accelerate the next generation of transportation infrastructure that will make the future of driving safer around the world.”

“The City of Concord is very pleased to see Honda bring its advanced automated vehicle research to Contra Costa,” stated Tim Grayson, Mayor of the City of Concord. “We’re very hopeful this partnership will continue to support economic growth and spur excitement for hi-tech jobs in our community.”

Honda Advanced Technology Leadership
Honda is steadily building its automated and connected car technology portfolio, while bringing industry-leading capabilities to current generation vehicles. In September 2014, the company demonstrated several of its latest innovations, including a vehicle capable of automated freeway merging, exiting and lane changing, as well as a unique vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) “virtual tow” capability for assisting a driver in distress, at the ITS World Congress in Detroit.

Consistent with its pursuit of a collision-free society, Honda is also broadly deploying advanced driver-assist and early-stage automated driving technologies in current vehicles that help improve drivers’ situational awareness, such as Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Warning, Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow, Collision Mitigation Braking System™ and Road Departure Mitigation. Honda is also leading the industry in the deployment of rearview cameras, to be offered as standard equipment on all model year 2015 Honda and Acura vehicles.

Complementing this new effort in Northern California, Honda is also a founding partner in the University of Michigan’s Mobility Transformation Center (MTC), a major public-private R&D initiative that aims to lay the foundation for a commercially viable system of connected and automated vehicles, including the implementation of a working system in Ann Arbor by 2021.

About Honda Research Institute USA
Honda Research Institute USA (HRI-US) conducts research in the areas of computer and materials science, and develops strategic partnerships with public and private institutions to foster innovation. HRI-US was founded in 2003 and is headquartered in Silicon Valley. Learn more at honda-ri.com/HRI_Us/.

About The Contra Costa Transportation Authority
The Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) is a public agency formed by Contra Costa voters in 1988 to manage the county’s transportation sales tax program and oversee countywide transportation planning efforts. CCTA is responsible for planning, funding and delivering critical transportation infrastructure projects and programs that connect our communities, foster a strong economy, increase sustainability, and safely and efficiently get people where they need to go. CCTA also serves as the county’s designated Congestion Management Agency, responsible for putting programs in place to keep traffic levels manageable. As a transportation leader, CCTA is working to create a stronger economic future for Contra Costa County by building partnerships that make transportation safer, more reliable and increasingly efficient. Rather than exclusively trying to “build our way” out of congestion, CCTA’s vision centers around the use of emerging technologies and public-private partnerships to meet transportation demands and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Contra Costa County. More information about CCTA can be found online at ccta.net.

About City of Concord
Concord, California is located 29 miles east of San Francisco, adjacent to beautiful Mt. Diablo. The city covers 31.13 square miles. With a 2010 census count of 122,067 residents, it is the largest city in Contra Costa County. For more information about the City of Concord, or the redevelopment of the Concord Naval Weapons Station, please contact Leslye Asera at 925.671.3272 or Leslye.Asera@cityofconcord.org.

About GoMentum Station
GoMentum Station in Concord, California is where the Contra Costa Transportation Authority leads and facilitates a collaborative partnership among multiple automobile manufacturers; original equipment manufacturers and Tier 1 suppliers; communications suppliers; technology companies; researchers and academia; public agencies and other partners. At GoMentum Station, technology, innovation and commercialization will converge to define the next generation of transportation network infrastructure. More information about GoMentum Station is available at gomentumstation.net.

###

 

Acura RLX at GoMentum Station

Photo: Acura RLX at GoMentum Station

GoMentum Station Featured In Civil Engineering Magazine

(C. Cardno, 2015) – A World War II-era naval weapons station in California is being transformed into a test facility for the most modern of transportation modes: automated vehicles.

A decommissioned naval weapons station in Concord, California, will serve as a real-world test bed for vehicles fitted with the latest technology, including fully automated, driverless cars. The base features 20 mi of roadway a variety of alignments with intersections, driveways, and railroad crossings, plus bridges, tunnels, and underpasses. Contra Costa Transportation Authority…

Read Full Article Here

Cardno, Catherine A. “TESTING FACILITY FOR AUTOMATED VEHICLES READY IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA.” Civil Engineering Magazine. N.p., 10 Mar. 2015. Web. 12 Mar. 2015. <http://www.asce.org/magazine/20150310-testing-facility-for-automated-vehicles-ready-in-northern-california/>.

CCTA announces partnership to test self-driving cars at the Concord Naval Weapons Station

CONCORD, CA – The Contra Costa Transportation Authority and Mercedes-Benz Research and Development North America, Inc. (MBRDNA) announced a new agreement to partner with the City of Concord and the United States Navy to bring self-driving cars to Contra Costa. Under the agreement, the Contra Costa Transportation Authority and Mercedes-Benz Research & Development Northern California (MBRDNA) have licenses to test cutting edge transportation technology including traffic signals that ‘communicate’ with cars, and connected and autonomous driving vehicles at a new test bed within the Concord Naval Weapons Station (CNWS).

 

“The Contra Costa Transportation Authority is committed to supporting research that enhances safety while shining a spotlight on innovation,” stated Executive Director, Randy Iwasaki. “We’re extremely proud to be working with the City of Concord, Mercedes-Benz and the Navy in bringing cutting edge technology to Contra Costa and we look forward to connecting our resources to those advancing research and technology to improve transportation.”

 

“We can use the test site in Concord, California, to run simulation tests with self-driving vehicles in a secure way, including specific hazardous situations,” explained Dr. Axel Gern, head of autonomous driving at Mercedes-Benz Research and Development North America, Inc. (MBRDNA). “Taken in conjunction with the results of our test drives on public roads, these tests will help us with the ongoing development of our autonomous cars.” The focus of research nevertheless continues to lie on the tests undertaken in a real-life environment, he emphasized.

 

Mercedes-Benz was able to provide impressive proof of the viability of autonomous driving in today’s complex urban and inter-city traffic already last year. In August 2013 the Mercedes-Benz S 500 INTELLIGENT DRIVE, a new-model S-Class equipped with near-production-standard technology, drove fully autonomously the 100 km distance between the German cities of Mannheim and Pforzheim, following the historic route taken by Bertha Benz.

 

“The Contra Costa Transportation Authority is committed to supporting research that enhances safety while shining a spotlight on innovation. We’re extremely proud to be working with the City of Concord, Mercedes-Benz and the Navy in bringing cutting edge technology to Contra Costa and we look forward to connecting our resources to those advancing research and technology to improve transportation.”

–Executive Director, Randy Iwasaki

 

Since mid-September of this year Mercedes-Benz, as one of the pioneers of autonomous driving, has also held an official license from the State of California to test self-driving vehicles on public roads. The additional testing opportunities provided by the CNWS site will enable the company to expand significantly the scope of its research activities.

 

With paved, city-like roadway grids, CNWS is an ideal site for testing self-driving and connected vehicles and related applications in an urban-like environment. When MBRDNA and CCTA begin testing this month, it will be at one of the country’s few operational test bed sites that provides real-world infrastructure and equipment to facilitate the testing of new transportation technology in a controlled environment. The public will not have access to the test site, and the self-driving cars will be restricted to the test bed site. With 2100 acres of testing area and 19.6 miles of paved roadway, the CNWS is currently the largest secure test bed site in the United States.

 

“The City of Concord is hopeful that use of the Concord Naval Weapons Station as a test bed hub in the region will attract hi-tech jobs to our community and allow new technologies to be tested and researched,” stated Tim Grayson, Mayor of the City of Concord. CNWS was officially closed in 2007 and is currently in the process of being transferred to the City of Concord. “This partnership is indication that we’re moving forward in the 21st Century economy,” said Assemblywoman Susan A. Bonilla (D-Concord). “I’m confident that this is the first of many partnerships that will spark transportation innovation and smart growth in Contra Costa County and hopeful that the city of Concord can one day be viewed as a transportation technology hub where high tech jobs for residents are plentiful.” The use of the site as a test bed for innovative transportation technology will not impact the transfer, or the community’s long range plans for reuse of the base.

 

“This partnership is indication that we’re moving forward in the 21st Century economy.”

–Assemblywoman Susan A. Bonilla (D-Concord)

 

About The Contra Costa Transportation Authority
The Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) is a public agency formed by Contra Costa voters in 1988 to manage the county’s transportation sales tax program and oversee countywide transportation planning efforts. CCTA is responsible for planning, funding and delivering critical transportation infrastructure projects and programs that connect our communities, foster a strong economy, increase sustainability, and safely and efficiently get people where they need to go. CCTA also serves as the county’s designated Congestion Management Agency, responsible for putting programs in place to keep traffic levels manageable. More information about CCTA can be found online at www.ccta.net.

 

About Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America
Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America, Inc. (MBRDNA) was founded in 1994 and builds on a long-standing tradition of engineering expertise and a strong commitment to innovation and ingenuity to help develop safe, sustainable and technologically advanced vehicles. Headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, MBRDNA is part of the Daimler Group and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Daimler North America Corporation. Its four divisions—Group Research and Advanced Engineering, TechCenter, eDrive & Powertrain, and Advanced Design—focus on research, advanced engineering, product development and testing, and advanced design projects for Mercedes-Benz Cars and other Daimler Group business units.

 

MBRDNA continuously strives to remain at the forefront of successful automotive research and development in North America. Further information about MBRDNA is available online at www.mbrdna.com.

 

About City of Concord
Concord, California is located 29 miles east of San Francisco, adjacent to beautiful Mt. Diablo. The city covers 31.13 square miles. With a 2010 census count of 122,067 residents, it is the largest city in Contra Costa County. For more information about the City of Concord, or the redevelopment of the Concord Naval Weapons Station, please contact Leslye Asera at 925.671.3272 or Leslye.Asera@cityofconcord.org

 

Posted on October 2, 2014