Driverless Vehicles Hit the Road in Texas

The push toward autonomous vehicles is strong in the Lone Star State, home of the Texas AV Proving Grounds Partnership

If you think your car will be driving you anytime in the near future, think again.

Known as driverless or self-driving vehicles, autonomous vehicles are in the spotlight. But while the auto, tech and ride-share industries are driving the effort, the fact that automation levels vary means it will be a while before you'll pass a truly driverless vehicle on your daily commute.

In Texas, the push toward autonomous vehicles is particularly strong, accelerated by circumstances that make it among the nation's leaders as automation advances:

Texas' population growth is the largest of any state, according to U.S. Census data released in January; four of the five fastest-growing cities in the country with populations of 50,000 or more are in Texas, Census estimates have found; and Texas Demographic Center projections through 2045 suggest the state's population will grow by 40 percent, with three-quarters of the population concentrated in urban areas and border counties.

  • A new state law effective last September allows automakers and others to test automated vehicles on the state's roads and highways without a driver inside.
  • The Texas (Automated Vehicle) AV Proving Ground Partnership is one of 10 pilots designated in 2017 by the U.S. Department of Transportation "to encourage testing and information sharing around automated vehicle technologies."
  • "Our growth is a function of a good economy, affordable housing and a good transportation network. To sustain that, you've got to keep enhancing and improving all those areas," says Christopher Poe of the Texas A&M Transportation Institute, who also serves as point person for the state's proving grounds. "We've got to keep it up."

    23. Februar 2018

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