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Georgia lab takes autonomous vehicle infrastructure testing to the streets

The initiative aims to solve challenges to help connected and autonomous vehicles talk to traffic signals.

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The newly opened Infrastructure-Automotive Technology Laboratory (iATL) in Alpharetta, Georgia, provides a hub for automakers, cellular network operators, traffic control device companies and semiconductor manufacturers to create, develop and test connected vehicle safety applications in real-world conditions.

 

The 4,400-square-foot facility includes dozens of different types of electronic devices that control everything from traffic signals and school zone safety beacons to electronic crosswalks. Automakers will be able to develop safety apps that interact with the devices and cellular network operators will work out communications, including 5G.

 

Real-world conditions

 

Through the iATL, automakers can test safety applications in the streets of Alpharetta, which operates the first large-scale deployment of connected vehicle infrastructure technology using all forms of communications simultaneously – 4G LTE, Cellular Vehicle to Everything (C-V2X), Dedicated Short Range Radio (DSRC) and 900 MHz radio, underwritten by the North Fulton Community Improvement District.

 

"The iATL is not just a collection of traffic devices in a laboratory, but it is embedded in an ecosystem of 125 connected intersections to test the day-one applications in real-world conditions"

 

“The iATL is where automakers, roadway operators and technology companies can come together and make the vision of connected vehicles a reality now,” said Bryan Mulligan, president of Applied Information Inc. “The iATL is not just a collection of traffic devices in a laboratory, but it is embedded in an ecosystem of 125 connected intersections to test the day-one applications in real-world conditions.”

 

 

The rubber hits the road

 

The opening day began with a workshop outlining policy and plans for connecting smart cars to a smart infrastructure and was attended by government leaders, roadway operators and representatives of the automotive, cellular network and technology industries.

 

“The iATL is a prime example of Georgia’s leadership in developing critical technology that is so important to our state and national economies while at the same time improving the safety of all of us who use our streets and highways today,” said Georgia Lt Gov. Geoff Duncan. “I am particularly pleased that this incredible facility is privately sponsored and enjoys the overwhelming support of the local government and surrounding business community - where the rubber meets the road.”

 

“The ability of vehicles to communicate with the traffic control infrastructure is crucial to improving roadway safety and for the rapid adoption of connected vehicle technology across the fleet,” added Jovan Zagajac, head of connected vehicle technology for Ford Motor Company.

 

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