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Profile: Arizona Department of Transportation

PAVE: What is the most important thing you’ve learned from your work with AVs?

In Arizona, we are learning and evolving as automotive technologies continue to advance. We understand in order to realize the safety benefits that these advancements hold, it’s important for everyone — industry innovators, manufacturers, municipalities, public safety experts, other government agencies and the community — to work together. Simply put, collaboration is critical to successfully testing and deploying autonomous driving systems.

PAVE: How is Arizona preparing for AVs? What steps have you already taken?

In 2015, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed an executive order that outlined requirements for the safe development and testing of connecting and autonomous vehicle technology.

In 2018, the Governor issued a follow-up executive order to reflect some of the advancements in technology and testing — specifically, it addressed testing and operation of vehicles without an operator and resulted in the nation’s first law enforcement protocol for autonomous vehicles.

Governor Ducey signed HB 2813 into law in 2021, codifying the 2015 and 2018 executive orders for CAV testing in the State of Arizona.

Arizona has also taken steps to create the Institute for Automated Mobility, which is a consortium of private sector companies, university researchers and government officials that will collaborate to advance to the next level of autonomous transportation solutions.

As a state, Arizona has set forth a necessary foundation based on safety for the testing and operation of vehicles equipped with an automated driving system. The Arizona Department of Transportation has also established web-based notification and request forms to streamline the process for companies wanting to test and operate transportation technologies and autonomous vehicles in the state of Arizona.

PAVE: What AV deployments/tests have taken place in your area? 

Arizona has long been a place where vehicle manufacturers have tested cars and new technologies. Currently in Arizona, companies are safely testing and operating various levels of autonomous vehicles in all sizes and types to deliver everything including groceries, people and freight. We’re thrilled with the level of collaboration taking place throughout the state of Arizona. More importantly, we’re proud that there is an alignment of mission within state and local governments that allows us to continue evolving our process to keep up with technological advancements.

Read more about the Arizona DOT and their work on their website or follow them on social media.

About the Public Sector Advisory Council: PAVE’s public sector partners help to guide PAVE on its mission of promoting fact-based public discussion about automated vehicles. Council members serve in a strictly advisory capacity, providing PAVE and its members with opinions and recommendations related to AV technology and its societal effects.