PAVE: What is the most important thing you all have learned from your work with AVs?
That listening to communities to understand what problems we should solve and partnering with industry and academia is critical to successfully leverage these technologies to advance quality of life. Through human-centered design and public-private partnerships we can advance automated vehicles to connect communities, reduce transportation barriers, build efficiencies, support sustainability, grow jobs and businesses, and expand opportunity and access for all.
PAVE: How is Minnesota preparing for AVs? What steps have you already taken?
We’re planning and preparing for automated vehicle technologies in several key areas: leadership, policy, planning, and research. We are taking a state, regional, and national leadership role to advance national strategies, research and develop a unified vision of what the future of transportation looks like.
We are advancing policy that helps support AV freight, testing and deployment, and understanding how other forms of mobility — including automated delivery and micro-mobility — need to be collaboratively supported through uniform policy that allows innovation at the most local level. Through strategic planning and business planning we are thoughtfully, intentionally, and collaboratively growing a program that strategically invests public resources to meet community needs. Finally, with research and deployments that advance national research, we are filling in gaps in research areas while avoiding redundant programming.
PAVE: What AV deployments/tests have taken place in Minnesota?
We have successfully deployed several connected corridors with DSRC and cellular vehicle infrastructure, we are investing in smart pavement markings and signage, we are focusing on outreach and engagement to educate communities on AV and listen to their needs, we are planning deployments in Rochester, Minn. and other communities across the state and we are building partnerships across the country to advance AV cold weather testing and deployments.