Flanked by leaders in transportation policy and technology, officials with The Alliance for Transportation Innovation (ATI21.org) have announced plans for a coast-to-coast autonomous vehicle road trip across the USA, beginning later this month in Atlanta, Georgia.
The ‘AV Road Trip’, which was announced at a news conference held in conjunction with the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, will bring self-driving technology directly to the public in cities across America. The Washington, DC-based association advocates on behalf of the transportation technology industry to accelerate the adoption of innovative technologies that will reduce traffic deaths, improve the flow of urban commutes, safely deliver goods to market, eliminate human error, and improve mobility for the underserved, disabled and elderly.
The first stop on the tour is Atlanta, Georgia, on January 26, followed closely by appearances in New Orleans, Louisiana, on January 30; Arlington, Texas, on February 2; Los Angeles, California, on February 6; and San Jose, California, on February 9. EasyMile’s EZ10 driverless shuttle will be featured at every stop, allowing community leaders, invited members of the public, and the news media, to experience the future of transportation. Additional tour stops will be added throughout the year.
At the tour’s announcement, Mary E Peters, former US Secretary of Transportation, lauded ATI’s efforts on behalf of autonomous technology, and decried regulators for not keeping up with the pace of innovation. “Vehicles that drive themselves, and systems that make them safe, are being conceived, invented, tested, and refined, at speeds that would make our heads spin,” Peters said. “Yet the rules that govern the tech intended to make our lives better, our drive safer, and our trips quicker, are stuck in time.”
Paul Brubaker, president and CEO of ATI21.org, noted, “There is no doubt that when it comes to self-driving vehicles, seeing is believing. We are working to make sure innovation, and its potential to make life easier and our streets safer, is not frustrated by red tape and regulation.”
ATI’s chairman, former US Rep. Robert ‘Bob’ Walker, a member of the Trump Administration’s transition team, commented, “I’ve been helping craft technology policy for most of my life, but I’ve never seen this amount of excitement. We are witnessing the dawn of a complete transformation of transportation in America.”
Dick Alexander, executive vice president for Transdev North America, the AV Road Trip’s premier sponsor, added, “The autonomous vehicle industry is not just a cool technology or a novelty that will be gone tomorrow. Autonomous vehicles are starting to show their worth as a means to lower operating costs, improve customer safety, and increase mobility to areas poorly served by traditional mass transit. AV technology will revolutionize how we move people and is here to stay.”
Xavier Salort, senior sales manager for EasyMile (above right), said, “Our EZ10 vehicle will change the way people move around their communities, allowing more people to enjoy life simplified by the fact that they can now get where they are going, safer, quicker and easier than ever before.”
January 9, 2017