A study issued by the World Economic Forum projects 10% of U.S. vehicles will be driverless by 2026. AT&T, www.att.com, is teaming with the American Center for Mobility, www.acmwillowrun.org, to speed the development of self-driving vehicles with the Center providing the space to explore, create, and safely test driverless technologies. AT&T will be the Center’s exclusive cellular network provider through 2020.
The American Center for Mobility will act as a test bed for V2X (Vehicle-to-Anything) and CAV (connected and automated vehicle) solutions. It will allow companies to try out and validate the interoperability of connected car and smart city solutions.
Based at the historic Willow Run site in Ypsilanti Township, Mich., the 335-plus acre facility will equip developers with the ability to evaluate and test the interoperability of new technologies and services that will support CAVs. It offers access to test environments that replicate the real world, including a 2.5-mile highway loop. It also provides a range of driving environments and infrastructure like intersections, overpasses, a 700-ft. curved tunnel and roundabouts. And its location supports experimentation in varying weather conditions.
Before driverless cars take over the highways, vehicles with drivers will need to expand their connectivity to help improve safety and comfort. American Honda, www.honda.com, is working with AT&T to bring advanced connectivity to Honda vehicles in the U.S. and Canada as part of an exclusive multi-year agreement. The AT&T 4G LTE network will connect HondaLink apps and services for vehicles, including navigation, streaming radio, diagnostics, and remote lock/unlock.
Delphi Automotive, www.delphi.com, and Ford, www.ford.com, are also working with AT&T to develop a new way to enhance Vehicle-to-Anything communications. The platform is designed to help vehicles “talk” with each other and with smart cities’ infrastructure to improve safety and vehicle security, reduce traffic congestion, save money, and protect the environment.
These companies are laying the foundation for the next generation of urban planning and safer driving. In the future, autonomous vehicles will interact with connected traffic lights, roadside monitors, signage, and almost anything surrounding them.