CMU Joins Transportation Officials at Launch of New Autonomous Vehicle Testing, Safety and Training Facility

Representatives from Carnegie Mellon University joined officials from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, the Regional Industrial Development Corporation (RIDC) of Southwestern Pennsylvania and the state’s Department of Transportation Secretary Yassmin Gramian in launching the Pennsylvania Safety, Transportation and Research Track, or PennSTART — a state-of-the-art facility created to benefit emergency responders, transportation technology companies and research institutions.

A CMU AVIn addition to serving as a site for automated vehicle (AV) testing and development, PennSTART’s aim is to address safety, training and research needs. This builds on the state’s role as a leader facilitating the AV industry’s growth while positioning Pennsylvania at the forefront of the effort to ensure the safety of highway travelers and responders today and well into the future.

“Carnegie Mellon University is pleased to be a birthplace of autonomous vehicle technology dating back to 1983 and won the 2007 DARPA Urban Challenge that helped to trigger today’s global race to autonomy,” said CMU President Farnam Jahanian. “This new testbed will benefit today’s researchers, industry and policymakers in moving toward safer and more efficient transportation, while helping to strengthen our regional economy and workforce.”

Stan Caldwell, executive director of Traffic21 and the U.S. Department of Transportation designated Mobility21 National University Transportation Center, recognized the strong track record of cooperative efforts between CMU and Pennsylvania transit leaders. “Since 2010 Traffic21 researchers have been advising PennDOT in managing automated vehicle technology and we look forward to this new partnership in PennSTART to continue our collaboration for another decade,” Caldwell said.

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