PennDOT plays role in self-driving testing site proposal

As a group, Ms. Waters-Trassat said, the testing sites offer a variety of training opportunities that should put the state in a strong position in the competition. The state, which late last year released its own testing guideline recommendations for self-driving vehicles, said in its application that it is “uniquely positioned to provide oversight and legal support to testers and testing facilities alike.” For example, Pittsburgh’s urban streets are being used by Uber and Carnegie Mellon University to test their self-driving vehicles and is using smart traffic signals that adjust based on traffic. Penn State has a track for self-driving transit vehicles and Pocono’s race track has a 3,700-foot straightaway ideal for testing vehicles at high speeds. Because all of the sites have different capabilities, “a matrix approach combines the strengths of each into a more compelling application,” the state said.