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Automated Vehicles

Pennsylvania – State of Innovation

As a state that has always been at the forefront of innovation and industry, it should come as no surprise that Pennsylvania is at the very epicenter of the rise in Highly Automated Vehicle (HAV) technology. Pennsylvania’s world-class research universities have continually served as a breeding ground for technological advances, with Carnegie Mellon University known as the “birthplace of self-driving vehicles” and the University of Pennsylvania’s robotics research program is renowned worldwide. Without doubt, Pennsylvania has emerged as a leading location for on‐road testing of HAVs as they steadily advance toward practical use.

PennDOT has supported these advances in automation through the deployment of Dedicated Short-Range Communication (DSRC) Roadside Units (RSUs) at select signalized intersections to enable communications between the vehicles and the infrastructure. PennDOT has also been active in national efforts to develop uniform standards and practices for HAVs. With the pace of HAV innovation accelerating, Transportation Secretary Leslie S. Richards challenged PennDOT to take action to sustain Pennsylvania’s leadership in HAV research, while simultaneously ensuring that public safety remains the paramount priority as HAVs are tested on the roadways.

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