The Fuse

This Week in AVs: Uber To Test AVs In Dallas; DOT Awards $60m For Public AV Tests; And More

by Alex Adams | @alexjhadams | September 23, 2019

Uber To Begin AV Testing In Dallas
Uber will begin testing its AVs in Dallas, Texas, this November, according to a company blog post. In the Medium post, Austin Geidt, the strategy head for Uber Advanced Technologies Group, said Dallas gives Uber the opportunity to experience and explore “a different type of road network” for the company’s self-driving technology. “The city’s modern infrastructure, unique traffic patterns, road characteristics, and climate will offer new information that can inform our ongoing engineering efforts,” he wrote. This expansion adds to ongoing Uber operations in San Francisco, Pittsburgh and Toronto, and represents the first major growth in its self-driving operations since a fatal crash in Arizona in March last year.

Federal Government To Spend $60 Million For Public AV Tests
Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) announced almost $60 million in federal grants to eight AV projects in seven states. Attracting more than 70 applications, the projects will help gather safety data for DOT which will help shape subsequent AV regulations. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao explained that DOT is awarding the funding “to test the safe integration of automated vehicles into America’s transportation system while ensuring that legitimate concerns about safety, security and privacy are addressed.” Of the eight projects, three—in Iowa, Texas and Ohio—will focus on rural AV applications; Virginia Tech received two grants totaling $15 million.

Waymo AV Taxi Pilot Passes 6,200 Riders In First Month
Waymo transported 6,299 passengers in its self-driving Chrysler Pacifica minivans in the first month of its robotaxi pilot program. According to a quarterly report filed with the California Public Utilities Commission, Waymo completed 4,678 passenger trips in July. The pilot is taking place in a geofenced section of the Bay Area, encompassing Mountain View, Palo Alto, Cupertino, Los Altos and Los Altos Hills. As California requires all rides in the pilot program to be free, it is hard to gauge how demand and pricing would translate in a commercial version of an AV service.

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