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Autonomous vehicles to be tested on Hamilton Mountain roads

Don’t look now, but Hamiltonians could be seeing autonomous vehicles being driven on a road near them.

Hamilton’s public works committee approved an agreement Nov. 18 with the Centre for Integrated Transportation and Mobility to become a test site for autonomous vehicles.

“I want Hamilton to be a leader,” said Mountain Coun. Terry Whitehead, who supported the partnership. “You can’t fight (technology). It’s coming. It’s already happening.”

Council is scheduled to vote on the recommendation at its Nov. 27 meeting.

Ontario’s autonomous vehicle innovation network tapped Hamilton as one of six regional demonstration sites to test vehicles. The partnership is through the Innovation Factory’s Centre for Integrated Transportation and Mobility. Hamilton is expected to reap a $10-million investment for the project from the province and industry. The project is being funded until 2022.

Ontario launched the 10-year automated vehicle pilot program in 2016.

The technology involved includes artificial intelligence to analyze data and interactions between vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists; noise-tracking technology; vehicle-to-vehicle communication; and traffic-signal technology.

“I would encourage Hamilton to do these types of things,” said Whitehead. “It creates opportunities for investment. Where they test it, they then implement it.”

The idea is to install sensors and communication equipment to infrastructure such as street lights and traffic poles on various Mountain roads. The roads include Stone Church Road from Upper Gage Avenue to Dartnall Road; Rymal Road from Upper Gage Avenue to Dartnall Road; Upper Gage Avenue from Stone Church Road to Rymal Road; Upper Ottawa Street from Stone Church Road to Rymal Road; and Dartnall Road from Stone Church to Rymal Road.

Edward Soldo, director of transportation operations, said there will be people in the vehicles during the test phase.

As part of the program, a pilot participant must also be the owner of the vehicle used, and the vehicle must be properly insured. Prior to any testing occurring, the city must be alerted.

There will also be a private test area created at the McMaster Innovation Park and CanMet building that will be ready prior to the public test roads in the early part of 2020.

This post was originally found on the St. Catharines Standard. Read the original article at:

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