Former Volkswagen and Sony plant in Mount Pleasant will become training site for emergency response crews and state road workers

The test facility, known as Pennsylvania Safety, Transportation and
Research Track, will use 80 to 100 acres of land at the former Volkswagen
and Sony plant, state and local officials announced Thursday. The facility,
which could cost as much as $20 million, will be a free training site for
emergency response crews and state road workers, and lease time to
private companies developing self-driving vehicles and other
transportation products.

State Transportation Secretary Yassmin Gramian said officials have been
talking about such a facility for about four years…

Mr. Kopko said Michigan and Florida have similar facilities, but they aren’t
as wide ranging as the Westmoreland County facility will be. Academic institutions such as Carnegie Mellon University, which is a leader in self-
driving technology, also will be able to use PennSTART.

“None of (the other facilities) are as much a jack-of-all-trades facility as this will be,” Mr. Kopko said. “Anything we want to test, this facility gives us that opportunity.”