Arizona to Build ‘Testbed’ for Autonomous Vehicles

The Arizona Department of Transportation announced a public-private partnership to install fiber-optic infrastructure along 405 miles of interstate highways to enable vehicle connectivity.

1 minute read

May 16, 2024, 12:00 PM PDT

By Mary Hammon @marykhammon

Double-lane interestate in the desert with two semi-trucks and five cars driving toward the camera, low mountains in the background.

Natalia Bratslavsky / Adobe Stock

A new project announced in April will lay the groundwork for connected and automated vehicles in Arizona, according to a Gov Tech article by Skip Descant. “The project, a partnership among the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), the Arizona Commerce Authority and eX2 Technology…will lay 405 miles of fiber along interstates 40, 19 and 17,” Descant reports.

The project, which is expected to begin later this year, will serve dual purposes: a ‘testbed” for intelligent transportation systems technology and “middle-mile” broadband “intended to build out the infrastructure needed to support final ‘last-mile’ connections to homes and businesses,” particularly those in rural areas and on tribal lands. In addition to connected and automated vehicles, an ADOT representative told Gov Tech the new fiber infrastructure will support overhead message boards, traffic cameras, weather stations, and wrong-way driving detection.

“The project is seen as a significant advancement of the national goal to bring broadband to unserved and underserved areas. Arizona received more than $993.1 million from the Broadband Equity Access and Deployment (BEAD) Program, part of the 2021 federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act,” writes Descant.

Wednesday, May 15, 2024 in Government Technology

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