PEACHTREE CORNERS, GA – Technology Park has long been known as the cradle of technology in the metro area. Now Technology Parkway, the main thoroughfare through the 500-acre park, is about to be retrofitted to become the testing site for an autonomous vehicle project.
At its Tuesday night meeting City Council took its first steps into the driverless age by adopting a resolution approving $2 million for the Autonomous Vehicle Project. Technology Parkway was selected as the ideal setting for its relative ease in reconfiguring an existing roadway to allow both passenger cars and autonomous vehicles to safely co-exist with minimal disruption.
"The goal for this project is economic development that is centered around future technology," said Mayor Mike Mason. "The city’s startup incubator, Prototype Prime, will be a catalyst in attracting ancillary companies by offering a testing site for new AV related technology."
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Prototype Prime, which is located on Technology Parkway, will be collaborating with the project by launching an Advanced Vehicle Accelerator to foster collaboration among companies within the advanced vehicle ecosystem. It will be partnering with Tech Connect Hub, which will assist in matching research and startup communities with corporate partners.
"The economic implications of investing in advanced vehicle technology is far reaching," said Sanjay Parekh, Prototype Prime’s executive director. "Self-driving vehicles will eventually employ sensors, cameras, radar, high-performance GPS, light detection and ranging (LIDAR), artificial intelligence undoubtedly attracting new and existing AV companies to Peachtree Corners and surrounding areas."
The autonomous vehicle will function as a driverless shuttle that will be installed along Technology Parkway and will run on a designed lane along the 1.4-mile road. The project, titled Programmed Autonomous Vehicle Environment (PAVE), will provide a test track for street-level transportation innovations to accommodate cutting-edge vehicle technology.
Peachtree Corners has already shown its commitment to multi-model transportation by previously committing significant resources to other enhancements such as sidewalks, bicycle paths, electric vehicle stations and multi-use trails.
"Peachtree Corners is a creative, tech-savvy city," said Mayor Mike Mason. "Implementing this project also proves that smaller cities can move quickly and are more nimble in responding to opportunities such as the launch of our autonomous vehicle project. As we grow, we will always be exploring and investing in more ways for improving economic development for our city."
Photos and graphics courtesy City of Peachtree Corners