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MDOT MVA Issued First Permits to Howard County Company to Test Vehicles at BWI Marshall Parking Garage and MDOT Parking Lots
GLEN BURNIE, MD (February 1, 2018) – The Hogan Administration today announced permits are available for the first time for testing connected and automated vehicle (CAV) technology in Maryland. The Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOT MVA) issued the first permits to a Howard County company to allow testing at parking lots owned by MDOT.
“Maryland is deeply invested in innovative solutions to address congestion and improve safety,” said MDOT Secretary Pete K. Rahn.
In order to create a one-stop-shop for the private sector to research and develop new technology, Secretary Rahn organized a Statewide Working Group in 2015. The group is comprised of a diverse set of stakeholders including: law enforcement, traffic safety representatives, planners, engineers, economic development organizations, policymakers, state and local government agencies, trucking industry members, educational institutions, private industry and more. The group created the permit process, which starts by completing an Expression of Interest form on MDOT MVA’s website. The process allows transportation and public safety experts to develop a dialogue with potential partner companies.
The permit process is a collaborative, constructive and expedient pathway for CAV testing in a safe environment. To date, eight entities have expressed interest in collaborating with MDOT on CAV technology. The company STEER Tech was issued permits in June 2017 to test an autonomous parking solution. STEER Tech’s initial permits allowed testing at an MDOT State Highway Administration Park and Ride lot and an MDOT Maryland Transit Administration parking lot. The company has been continually testing since permit issuance and is now testing at the Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport Parking Garage.
“MDOT is working together from a multi-modal transportation perspective to test CAV technology,” said MDOT MVA Administrator Christine Nizer. “It is estimated that 94 percent of serious vehicle crashes involve human error, which is why it is so important to research and test the various safety benefits CAVs offer to prevent fatalities and injuries on our roadways.”
Some key benefits of CAV technology include:
· significant improvements in safety, resulting in fewer crashes and lives saved;
· fewer delays, resulting in reduction in daily commute times;
· reduced emissions due to consistent speeds and less idling;
· increased mobility service options; and
· more efficient movement of freight, which reduces the cost to consumers.
For more information about the work Maryland is doing with Connected and Automated Vehicle technology, including newly released educational information, visit http://www.mva.maryland.gov/safety/MarylandCAV/.