The Jacksonville Transportation Authority’s autonomous vehicle program is progressing apace, and the next step: a test track.
Emails between city officials reveal that track may be in one of the highest-visibility areas in the city.
A Friday email from Chief Administrative Officer Sam Mousa laid it out.
Mousa wrote that “the JTA has approached the City about utilizing a section of asphalt pavement (driveway) in the Sports Complex as a test track for their autonomous vehicle program. The driveway is located south of and adjacent to Lot K, and controlled for the City by SMG. The City, SMG and the JTA have met and based on the attached memo, all seem to be in concurrence with this driveway use, pending further plan development, coordination, etc.”
Suggesting there may need to be a memorandum of understanding between the parties, Mousa noted that the “test program will require placement of some limited infrastructure on or along the pavement area and the removal of the elements upon completion of testing, etc. Other matters such as liability, indemnifications, etc., come to mind.”
While “potential other areas for vehicle testing” were floated for consideration, Mousa shot those down.
“The only area I am interested in allowing for testing is the subject driveway mentioned above,” Mousa wrote.
JTA has faced pressure to modernize the aged Skyway system, and after consideration of other options, the move is toward autonomous vehicles.