Minnesota DOT and Contra Costa Transportation Authority form new CAV research partnership

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The Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) and Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) have announced a new partnership that will see them sharing knowledge and testing facilities in an effort to advance safer, smarter, more efficient transportation networks for California, Minnesota, and the entire United States.

MnDOT’s Connected and Automated Vehicle (CAV) team is actively working to advance research and deployment of ITS and CAV technologies with the help of MnROAD–the state’s cold weather pavement testing facility.

MnROAD has over 50 unique test sections on several roadways, including two 3.5-mile, high-speed corridors on Interstate 94 and a 2.5-mile, low-speed, closed access road. MnDOT also partners with Camp Ripley, a military and civilian training facility operated by the Minnesota National Guard, which has a 4.3-mile emergency vehicle operations course.

With some of the most extreme weather conditions in the nation, Minnesota offers testing simulations that cannot be replicated elsewhere, which provides unique opportunities to test the safety features of CV and AV technologies.

GoMentum Station for CAV testing in Concord, California

Through this partnership, CCTA will have access to MnROAD facilities and likewise, MnDOT will have access to GoMentum Station in Concord, California – one of the largest secure connected and automated vehicle proving grounds in the country. GoMentum Station augments MnDOT’s testing with varied terrain, and real-life infrastructure including roads, bridges, tunnels, intersections and parking lots provide the environment needed to accelerate testing of the first and last mile applications, and the ability to safely test technology to its limits. CCTA also has many long-standing research and manufacturing partnerships that offer coordination opportunities for MnDOT.

“With this new collaboration, we’ll be able to test in conditions that just can’t be replicated here in Contra Costa,” says Randy Iwasaki, executive director of CCTA. “Our partnership with a state agency like MnDOT will open new doors to shared research opportunities for a small agency like ours, and it’s exciting to be partnering with an agency that has similar goals in the arena of connected and automated vehicle technology.”

“Minnesota is excited to partner with one of the nation’s leading institutions in this work as we explore innovations in smart mobility, connected and automated vehicles and how advancing technologies are impacting communities,” said Kristin White, MnDOT CAV-X executive director. “Through collaboration and information sharing, we’re committing to learning from CCTA, sharing best practices and together advancing research that supports our regions and national goals. We believe this partnership can be a model for other regions to advance smart mobility.”

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About Author

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs in charge of public agencies around the world as well as chairmen and CEOs of multinational transportation technology corporations. Tom's early career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).