AutonomouStuff, part of Hexagon’s Positioning Intelligence division, launched the first phase of its Open Autonomy Pilot programme and has begun collecting data and testing software on two automated research and development vehicles. This testing will be conducted on a defined route in downtown Peoria, Illinois.
“The goal of the Open Autonomy Pilot is to enable, accelerate and deploy technology that drives the future of autonomy,” said Bobby Hambrick, Founder, CEO and President of AutonomouStuff, and Chief Autonomy Officer of Hexagon PI. “This is a unique opportunity to develop revolutionary technology through collaboration in the industry, while bringing advancements in innovation to Peoria.”
This initiative includes development and testing of a complete automation software suite, weekly engineering analysis from three months of regular testing, simulation models and high definition maps of downtown Peoria — a significant data collection effort. Data collected during the driving sessions also will become part of a digital simulation used to test and validate AutonomouStuff’s complete solution for safety-conscious automated technology development.
Multiple layers of safety have been incorporated into the pilot, starting with months of software testing in simulation. On the road, highly trained safety drivers will maintain full manual control of the vehicles at all times, driving at low speeds while conducting tests during non-peak traffic hours and closely monitoring the simulated software.
Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis said: “Over 30 years ago, Caterpillar was developing autonomous construction and mining equipment. Peoria has been at the forefront of innovation for decades, especially relating to manufacturing and medicine. This exciting new project will expand our reputation and let everyone know that Peoria is a leading community when it comes to innovation.”
Jeff Griffin, President and CEO of the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce and CEO Council, said: “Our region has such a rich history of innovation, and this project demonstrates our determination to meet the demands of the future. We are beyond thrilled to see this pilot project become a reality.”