Fairfax County and Dominion Energy, an American power and energy company, are partnering on an autonomous electric shuttle pilot tentatively planned for the Merrifield area in Fairfax County.
The demonstration project moved a step closer to implementation with the award of a grant from the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) for the execution of the pilot. The Virginia Commonwealth
Transportation Board has approved the $250,000 grant for Fairfax County, making this pilot the first state-funded autonomous public transportation demonstration project in Virginia.
The pilot would also be one of the first tests of driverless technology in public transportation in Virginia. Fairfax County will provide a $50,000 local match to the DRPT grant.
The goal of the pilot is for Fairfax County and Dominion Energy to learn about the various aspects of deploying autonomous vehicles as part of a large public transportation system.
Safety will be key to the successful implementation of the pilot and the project is subject to safety reviews by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Source: Press Release