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Technology
Wheels in Motion


Orlando, theme park capital of the world, could become one of the first cities in the world where driverless vehicles become standard. We looked at their testing and deployment plans

From Attractions Management 2017 issue 2 . . BY Alice Davis, Attractions Management

Self-driving cars look set to become a part of life, offering many advantages over the traditional automobile. Automated Vehicles (AVs) represent a complete rethink of the way we’ll get around.

Research shows that AVs could drastically reduce the number of traffic collisions, improve traffic flow and ease congestion, make more efficient use of fuel or energy, facilitate journey-sharing and increase mobility among the public, and reduce the need for parking spaces, traffic police, and insurance.

Imagine a family getting picked up from Orlando International Airport in an AV that looks like Tow Mater from Cars and taken directly to their Disney resort hotel. It’s not a stretch to think the AV might be able to recognise the family and know exactly what time they’d be ready to be collected.

But the technology is still new and needs to be thoroughly tested. So where better to create an AV testing hub than the pioneering city of Orlando, Florida? The city already has a $13bn (£10bn, €11.8bn) tech industry, leading the way in sectors like aviation, aerospace and IT, not to mention its theme park industry, often a testing ground for visionary new technologies.

The US Department of Transport (USDOT) selected the City of Orlando to pilot this new technology, making Central Florida one of the US’s most important centres for research and development of AV technology, including cars, buses, and other vehicles.

The long-term programme will involve the simulation testing and closed-track testing, before introducing public transport testing such as autonomous city buses.

Testing partners
To facilitate testing, the City of Orlando has teamed up with academic and private sector agencies – including the University of Central Florida, Florida Polytechnic University and NASA Kennedy Space Center – to form the Central Florida AV Partnership.

Plans focus on two testing tracks. The first is a proposal for a 2.25-mile (3.6km) multi-lane track designed to test AVs at high speeds, a partnership between Florida Department of Transport and Florida Polytechnic University. Dubbed SunTrax, it will be located in Polk County and aims to recreate realistic city situations to test how AVs interact with other vehicles, bicycles and people. The $51m (£39m, €46m) test track is expected to open in late 2018.

The second testing centre is at NASA Kennedy Space Center, where researchers will test how AVs perform in extreme weather and unpredictable situations. The centre has an environment chamber specially designed for testing AV software and hardware in such conditions.

Following on from that, AVs can then be deployed on specifically chosen roads and public transit routes. Investment in the I-4 highway – the I-4 Ultimate project – will help facilitate real-world testing.

Central Florida is one of 10 AV Proving Grounds designated by USDOT, with others in Pennsylvania, Texas, North Carolina, Wisconsin, California and Iowa.

“The 10 proving grounds will collectively form a Community of Practice around safe testing and deployment,” says Anthony Foxx, former USDOT secretary under the Obama administration. “They will openly share best practices for the safe conduct of testing and operations as they are developed, enabling the participants and the public to learn at a faster rate and accelerating the pace of safe deployment.”

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Technology
Wheels in Motion


Orlando, theme park capital of the world, could become one of the first cities in the world where driverless vehicles become standard. We looked at their testing and deployment plans

From Attractions Management 2017 issue 2 . . BY Alice Davis, Attractions Management

Self-driving cars look set to become a part of life, offering many advantages over the traditional automobile. Automated Vehicles (AVs) represent a complete rethink of the way we’ll get around.

Research shows that AVs could drastically reduce the number of traffic collisions, improve traffic flow and ease congestion, make more efficient use of fuel or energy, facilitate journey-sharing and increase mobility among the public, and reduce the need for parking spaces, traffic police, and insurance.

Imagine a family getting picked up from Orlando International Airport in an AV that looks like Tow Mater from Cars and taken directly to their Disney resort hotel. It’s not a stretch to think the AV might be able to recognise the family and know exactly what time they’d be ready to be collected.

But the technology is still new and needs to be thoroughly tested. So where better to create an AV testing hub than the pioneering city of Orlando, Florida? The city already has a $13bn (£10bn, €11.8bn) tech industry, leading the way in sectors like aviation, aerospace and IT, not to mention its theme park industry, often a testing ground for visionary new technologies.

The US Department of Transport (USDOT) selected the City of Orlando to pilot this new technology, making Central Florida one of the US’s most important centres for research and development of AV technology, including cars, buses, and other vehicles.

The long-term programme will involve the simulation testing and closed-track testing, before introducing public transport testing such as autonomous city buses.

Testing partners
To facilitate testing, the City of Orlando has teamed up with academic and private sector agencies – including the University of Central Florida, Florida Polytechnic University and NASA Kennedy Space Center – to form the Central Florida AV Partnership.

Plans focus on two testing tracks. The first is a proposal for a 2.25-mile (3.6km) multi-lane track designed to test AVs at high speeds, a partnership between Florida Department of Transport and Florida Polytechnic University. Dubbed SunTrax, it will be located in Polk County and aims to recreate realistic city situations to test how AVs interact with other vehicles, bicycles and people. The $51m (£39m, €46m) test track is expected to open in late 2018.

The second testing centre is at NASA Kennedy Space Center, where researchers will test how AVs perform in extreme weather and unpredictable situations. The centre has an environment chamber specially designed for testing AV software and hardware in such conditions.

Following on from that, AVs can then be deployed on specifically chosen roads and public transit routes. Investment in the I-4 highway – the I-4 Ultimate project – will help facilitate real-world testing.

Central Florida is one of 10 AV Proving Grounds designated by USDOT, with others in Pennsylvania, Texas, North Carolina, Wisconsin, California and Iowa.

“The 10 proving grounds will collectively form a Community of Practice around safe testing and deployment,” says Anthony Foxx, former USDOT secretary under the Obama administration. “They will openly share best practices for the safe conduct of testing and operations as they are developed, enabling the participants and the public to learn at a faster rate and accelerating the pace of safe deployment.”

 
 
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©Cybertrek 2017

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Technology
Wheels in Motion


Orlando, theme park capital of the world, could become one of the first cities in the world where driverless vehicles become standard. We looked at their testing and deployment plans

From Attractions Management 2017 issue 2 . . BY Alice Davis, Attractions Management

Self-driving cars look set to become a part of life, offering many advantages over the traditional automobile. Automated Vehicles (AVs) represent a complete rethink of the way we’ll get around.

Research shows that AVs could drastically reduce the number of traffic collisions, improve traffic flow and ease congestion, make more efficient use of fuel or energy, facilitate journey-sharing and increase mobility among the public, and reduce the need for parking spaces, traffic police, and insurance.

Imagine a family getting picked up from Orlando International Airport in an AV that looks like Tow Mater from Cars and taken directly to their Disney resort hotel. It’s not a stretch to think the AV might be able to recognise the family and know exactly what time they’d be ready to be collected.

But the technology is still new and needs to be thoroughly tested. So where better to create an AV testing hub than the pioneering city of Orlando, Florida? The city already has a $13bn (£10bn, €11.8bn) tech industry, leading the way in sectors like aviation, aerospace and IT, not to mention its theme park industry, often a testing ground for visionary new technologies.

The US Department of Transport (USDOT) selected the City of Orlando to pilot this new technology, making Central Florida one of the US’s most important centres for research and development of AV technology, including cars, buses, and other vehicles.

The long-term programme will involve the simulation testing and closed-track testing, before introducing public transport testing such as autonomous city buses.

Testing partners
To facilitate testing, the City of Orlando has teamed up with academic and private sector agencies – including the University of Central Florida, Florida Polytechnic University and NASA Kennedy Space Center – to form the Central Florida AV Partnership.

Plans focus on two testing tracks. The first is a proposal for a 2.25-mile (3.6km) multi-lane track designed to test AVs at high speeds, a partnership between Florida Department of Transport and Florida Polytechnic University. Dubbed SunTrax, it will be located in Polk County and aims to recreate realistic city situations to test how AVs interact with other vehicles, bicycles and people. The $51m (£39m, €46m) test track is expected to open in late 2018.

The second testing centre is at NASA Kennedy Space Center, where researchers will test how AVs perform in extreme weather and unpredictable situations. The centre has an environment chamber specially designed for testing AV software and hardware in such conditions.

Following on from that, AVs can then be deployed on specifically chosen roads and public transit routes. Investment in the I-4 highway – the I-4 Ultimate project – will help facilitate real-world testing.

Central Florida is one of 10 AV Proving Grounds designated by USDOT, with others in Pennsylvania, Texas, North Carolina, Wisconsin, California and Iowa.

“The 10 proving grounds will collectively form a Community of Practice around safe testing and deployment,” says Anthony Foxx, former USDOT secretary under the Obama administration. “They will openly share best practices for the safe conduct of testing and operations as they are developed, enabling the participants and the public to learn at a faster rate and accelerating the pace of safe deployment.”

 


ADVERTISE . CONTACT US

Leisure Media, Portmill House, Portmill Lane,
Hitchin, Hertfordshire SG5 1DJ Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385

©Cybertrek 2017

ABOUT LEISURE MEDIA
LEISURE MEDIA MAGAZINES
LEISURE MEDIA HANDBOOKS
LEISURE MEDIA WEBSITES
LEISURE MEDIA PRODUCT SEARCH
PRINT SUBSCRIPTIONS
FREE DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTIONS