GovNews: Texas Department of Transportation announces Connected and Autonomous Vehicle Task Force, Cites City of Austin as a Lead City

ARTICLE | Feb 1, 2019

Austin, TX Mobility News

Texas DOT

The Texas Department of Transportation has announced it is creating a Connected and Autonomous Vehicle Task Force to become a central point for advancement of this technology in Texas. The task force is designed to be a one-stop resource for information and coordination on all ongoing connected and autonomous vehicle projects, investments and initiatives in Texas. Austin, as a lead city in the national Smart City contest, is a founder and active participant in the statewide Texas Innovation Alliance, which coordinates with TxDOT and cities across Texas.

Smart Cities Dive, an industry publication that covers new smart city developments, recently wrote a piece on the announcement and Austin's smart mobility efforts:

"Jason JonMichael, Austin's assistant director of smart mobility, told Smart Cities Dive last year that part of his job was to keep up with the 'blistering rate' of innovation in the [private] sector. 'There’s a gap in the civic side, in the public-sector side, related to subject matter expertise in this area,' he said at the time. The new state task force will help further close that gap, and give companies a central place to look for guidance on rules and funding."

Austin Transportation's Smart Mobility Program has been a catalyst for smart city technology testing in Austin. Most recently, Austin became the first city in Texas to participate in the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Signal Phasing and Timing Challenge. This has enabled the City of Austin to deploy dedicated short-range communication technology that facilitates communication between vehicles and infrastructure at five Austin intersections. The City and its partners have more smart mobility pilots planned for implementation this year, so stay tuned!

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