4 reasons why driverless vehicle companies scale in Greater Phoenix
Driverless vehicles used to be the sort of thing you’d see in movies and TV, but they’re a reality in Greater Phoenix.
In fact, not only are driverless vehicles the way of the commuting future, they have the potential to improve quality of life. This is just one reason why Greater Phoenix is leading the way in supporting the development and testing of this transformative technology.
Here are the top four reasons why Greater Phoenix is the perfect location for driverless vehicle companies to scale.
- Supportive State and Local Policy with Forward-Thinking Leadership
With forward-thinking leadership at all levels of government, Arizona stands out in fostering an environment where driverless vehicles are not only allowed to be tested and developed, but it is strongly encouraged.
In 2015, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed an executive order allowing for the testing and piloting of driverless vehicles on certain public roads. This self-driving technology development can produce social benefits such as the reduction of traffic and congestion, increased safety, and reduced parking demand.
- A Massive Education Pipeline Developing Workers with Vital Skills
Greater Phoenix is home to the nation’s largest engineering school, Arizona State University. More than 20,000 students are enrolled in various engineering programs at ASU with more than 5,000 of them graduating with a degree each year.
Along with other higher education institutions including the University of Arizona, Grand Canyon University and University of Phoenix, there is university alignment and partnerships that are producing a job-ready workforce. Additionally, the region’s competitive advantage in software skills also makes Greater Phoenix the optimal region for UAV and autonomous vehicle operations.
- An Excellent Infrastructure and Weather for Testing Vehicles
The consistent and reliable power coverage and low risk of natural disasters in Greater Phoenix are ideal for vehicle testing. Additionally, the minimally disruptive weather events and business climate have attracted companies such as Waymo, Lyft, General Motors and Nuro to test their vehicles.
Recently, Nuro and Kroger launched a pilot program to begin testing their driverless vehicles for grocery delivery at a Fry’s Food and Drug store in Scottsdale, Arizona. Valley Metro and Waymo also announced a series of experiments to connect driverless vehicles to public transit infrastructure.
This demonstrates that Greater Phoenix continues to be a proving ground for self-driving technology.
- Arizona Offers AV Testing and Research Space
In 2018, Governor Doug Ducey signed an executive order creating the Institute for Automated Mobility (IAM), in partnership with Intel, Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University, University of Arizona, and other public and private organizations that will collaborate on state-of-the-art research in Arizona. The goal of the institute is to advance all aspects of autonomous vehicles from science to safety to policy.
Greater Phoenix is leading the way in supporting the development and testing of this transformative technology in the region. The region boasts a unique combination of world-class talent, a forward-thinking business environment and an ecosystem that allows driverless vehicle-based companies to scale locally and nationally.
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