Gov. Doug Ducey and Jennifer Haroon sit in the backseat of the Waymo car. (Photo by Shavon Rose Photography, courtesy of Waymo)
Ducey creates autonomous vehicle institute to keep state at forefront of technology
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey announced Thursday that he has signed an Executive Order creating the Institute for Automated Mobility (IAM), a new consortium of private sector companies, public officials and university research faculty that will collaborate on state-of-the-art research and testing center in Arizona.
“The Institute for Automated Mobility will bring together global industry leaders, a public sector team and the brightest minds in academia, focused on advancing all aspects of automated vehicle science, safety and policy, ” said Governor Ducey. “Arizona is committed to providing the leadership and knowledge necessary to integrate these technologies into the world’s transportation systems.”
IAM will be overseen by the Arizona Commerce Authority and brings together the Arizona Department of Transportation, the Arizona Department of Public Safety, all three Arizona universities – Arizona State University, the University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University – and private industry, with Intel Corporation serving as the first private-sector founding partner.
Each founding partner provides important expertise:
• The Arizona Commerce Authority will oversee the institute and direct its mission to shape the future of automated transportation science, safety and policy.
• Academic partners will conduct research and publish papers on important safety-related topics, including liability questions surrounding automated vehicles involved in accidents, compensation models and safety standards.
• Intel will work with all partners offering Mobileye’s Responsibility Sensitive Safety (RSS) model as a starting point for building their solutions. RSS is already deployed by Baidu* in its Project Apollo and Apollo Pilot Programs for Automated Driving.
• The Arizona Department of Public Safety and Arizona Department of Transportation will build a traffic incident management center to integrate law enforcement and first responders with automated technologies unlike any other location in the country.
“Automated vehicle technologies have incredible potential to improve transportation safety and efficiency, saving lives, time and money,” said Sandra Watson, Arizona Commerce Authority President & CEO. “IAM will conduct groundbreaking industry-led research and development supporting the establishment of uniform standards and smart policy around these technologies.”
Intel Corporation played a key role in defining the structure and mission of IAM as a founding partner and has research efforts already underway related to self-driving car safety and standards. Their responsibility sensitive safety (RSS) model is an open and transparent technology-neutral model for the safety of AV decision making that can serve as a foundation for IAM research.
“The Institute for Automated Mobility is the culmination of many months of groundbreaking collaboration between Intel, ASU, and public agencies in Arizona,” said Doug Davis, senior vice president at Intel Corp. “We look forward to working with industry partners, the state, and the universities on safety technologies, standards and policies – such as responsibility sensitive safety (RSS) – as we collectively aim for autonomous transportation solutions that are safe and impactful.”
At full build out, IAM will consist of facilities designed for complex research and testing scenarios, with a simulation lab as well as technology-neutral physical infrastructure offering multiple route configurations, intersections, signage, and traffic signals. A Traffic Incident Management center designed and run by the Arizona Department of Transportation and the Arizona Department of Public Safety will integrate law enforcement and first responders with automated vehicle technologies unlike any other location in the country.
Governor Ducey has named Dr. Sethuraman (Panch) Panchanathan as his Advisor for Science and Technology. In this role, he will manage IAM’s corporate engagement strategy, helping partners to
identify their research areas and define projects, then directing those projects to teams of faculty from Arizona’s public universities.
“I am honored to serve Governor Ducey, the State of Arizona and IAM in the role of Advisor for Science & Technology,” said Dr. Panchanathan. “IAM will provide a concierge-style service designed to help partners easily and effectively execute their R&D projects. The truly comprehensive operating model combined with a commitment to sharing data and best practices will ensure projects are able to achieve intellectual, economic development and societal outcomes.”