A Groundbreaking Self-Driving Test Track Could Be Coming To Central Illinois

An autonomous test track may soon be on its way to the village of Rantoul and the decommissioned Chanute Air Force Base.

An intergovernmental agreement, which establishes the lease and purchase of the land, is expected to be reached on Tuesday between the village of Rantoul and the University of Illinois Board of Trustees.

The Illinois Autonomous and Connected Track, or I-ACT, is part of UIUC’s Smart Transportation Infrastructure Initiative. The project, spearheaded by Dr. Imad Al-Qadi, Bliss Professor of Engineering at UIUC’s Grainger College of Engineering, has been in the works since 2019 and will serve to simulate different environmental conditions for various types of self-driving vehicles, or smart transportation.