Tech companies are using Pennsylvania roads to test self-driving vehicles. Are they following the state’s guidelines?

In 2020, eight entities were authorized to test in Pennsylvania, including Motional AD, a tech company using self-driving shuttles in Las Vegas and Aurora Innovation, a tech giant that’s partnered with Toyota and Volvo. The busiest has been Argo AI, which had its HAVs travel at least 45,000 miles on arterial roads in Alleghany and Westmoreland counties. The company has reached partnerships with Ford and Volkswagen.

NVIDIA, a international technology corporation best known for computer graphics, received authorization to test vehicles on Interstate 78 and Route 22 but did not do so, according to documents it filed with PennDOT.

All of the companies centered their work around Pittsburgh, where Carnegie Mellon University has been researching autonomous vehicle technology since the mid 1980s. The university is among the groups authorized to perform research on public roads. Qualcomm Technologies received authorization to start testing in the greater Philadelphia area in January.