Vermont automated vehicle forum for local government and industry

REGION – The Vermont Agency of Transportation will host the first-ever Vermont AV-Xchange Forum Feb. 8, from 1-2:30 p.m., to discuss opportunities and challenges for testing “AVs,” often referred to as self-driving cars, on public roads in Vermont. This event will feature state and local government officials and representatives from the automated vehicle technology industry in an engaging, candid, and informative discussion.

In June 2019, Vermont passed legislation to support the testing of AVs on public roads. Based on the legislation, the Agency of Transportation has adopted a permitting framework that promotes the testing of AVs in Vermont in a manner that reduces the risks of an emerging technology; fosters collaboration between the state, local governments, and the AV industry; and promotes public education and awareness.

Automated vehicles have the potential to improve safety, increase mobility for people who cannot currently drive, and reduce travel costs for Vermont households, businesses, and visitors. The goals of the AV-Xchange Forum are to increase awareness among local officials, put Vermont on the national map for testing of automated vehicles, and promote collaboration between local officials and the automated vehicle industry.

During the forum, AOT staff will describe Vermont’s unique testing opportunities due to our small towns and cities surrounded by a rural countryside, challenging weather, and thousands of miles of dirt roads. The Automated Vehicle Testing Act was written to encourage the active engagement of municipalities through coordination by AOT. A panel of local officials will share their perspectives on how AVs can benefit residents, how to engage their towns, and local challenges. A panel of representatives from companies that are developing and testing automated vehicle technology around the country will discuss testing applications, national trends, and how to help Vermont prepare for the future of transportation.

The AV Xchange Forum is free, and AOT invites all interested state and local officials and members of the public to register here.

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