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Peachtree Corners invites developers to test autonomous vehicles

The smart city in Atlanta has unveiled a research and test vehicle designed to develop and prove out new advanced mobility and autonomous technologies in a living laboratory environment. 

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The Ford Edge-based test vehicle is equipped with Level 3 autonomous capabilities
The Ford Edge-based test vehicle is equipped with Level 3 autonomous capabilities

Peachtree Corners has secured a mobility research and test vehicle to help companies and organisations develop and prove out new advanced mobility and autonomous technologies.

 

According to Curiosity Lab at Peachtree Corners, the Ford Edge-based test vehicle was selected due to easy developer access to Ford’s historical autonomous vehicle datasets.

 

Open-source platform

 

The test vehicle is equipped with Level 3 autonomous capabilities on an open-source platform – differentiated from other test vehicles that either only test within closed courses or are limited to a host company’s proprietary platform.

 

“There have been many mobility test vehicles introduced these past several years, but at Curiosity Lab at Peachtree Corners, companies have the opportunity to develop new technologies on an open-source mobility platform alongside other emerging solutions, while also leveraging actual smart infrastructure wholly owned by the city – not proprietary, closed platforms in closed track environments,” said Brandon Branham, chief technology officer and assistant city manager of Peachtree Corners.

 

He continued: “The Ford Edge based test platform here operates in a living lab environment alongside residents that are walking and driving on the same public street. And we’re the first city in the world to insure a public roadway for both driven and driverless vehicle activity – giving companies a true advantage as they look to learn and improve their technologies before they ‘graduate’ and scale.”

 

Companies working on full autonomous driving systems, mapping, light detection/ranging (LiDAR), cameras/computer vision, radar, V2X systems and/or data/simulation are invited to Curiosity Lab at Peachtree Corners to test.

“Companies have the opportunity to develop new technologies on an open-source mobility platform alongside other emerging solutions, while also leveraging actual smart infrastructure wholly owned by the city”

The Edge vehicle utilises the city’s smart infrastructure and wide range of systems including Bosch video-as-a-sensor cameras; intelligent traffic signals; dedicated short-range communication units; and next-generation cellular.

 

By interacting with city-owned smart infrastructure, it will allow technologies to be developed with real-world scenarios, including thousands of local residents who live, work and drive alongside the vehicle, Curiosity Lab reports.

 

City infrastructure

 

Data from the sensors and devices on the test vehicle, as well as across city infrastructure, will be analysed and made available to engineers through the city’s central control room – as developers work to mature new technologies.

 

“We’ve already had successful long-term tests of autonomous shuttles, Ollie, transporting residents – and we are excited to have the opportunity to have a platform that will help move the world even closer to fulfilling the vision of fully autonomous vehicles operating safely in a city,” added Brian Johnson, city manager of Peachtree Corners.

 

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