U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao announced the initiative on Wednesday. Ten companies and nine states have signed on so far as participants in the voluntary web pilot. - Photo courtesy of U.S. Department of Transportation

U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao announced the initiative on Wednesday. Ten companies and nine states have signed on so far as participants in the voluntary web pilot.

Photo courtesy of U.S. Department of Transportation

The U.S. Department of Transportation today launched a public online tool “to improve the safety and testing transparency of automated driving systems,” the agency said in a press announcement. 

The tracking tool provides data for on-road testing of automated driving systems in 17 cities across the country, with information about the vehicles tested, including their on-road testing, and safety performance.

“This tool gives the public online access to data about the on-road testing of automated driving systems so the public can understand more about this new technology,” said U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.

The tool is part of the Automated Vehicle Transparency and Engagement for Safe Testing (AV TEST) Initiative, which was announced in June by U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is overseeing the AV TEST Initiative.

This online, public-facing platform will allow participants to share testing activities related to automated driving systems and other safety-related information with the public. Online mapping tools may show testing locations at the local, state, and national levels, as well as testing activity data, which may include dates, frequency, vehicle counts, and routes.  

Currently, the tool has data on on-road testing activities in 17 cities across the country, including Austin, Columbus (Ohio), Dallas, Denver, Jacksonville, Orlando, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.

Ten companies and nine states have signed on so far as participants in the voluntary web pilot.

According to the announcement, the AV TEST Initiative’s online tracking tool will soon be open to all stakeholders involved in the development and testing of automated driving system vehicles. At the state and local level, participants may include departments of motor vehicles, departments of transportation, highway safety offices, and city governments.  At the automotive industry level, participants may include developers, manufacturers, suppliers, operators, and testers. 

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