Morton, Illinois-based AutonomouStuff, part of Hexagon’s Positioning Intelligence division, launched the first phase of its Open Autonomy Pilot program last week.
AutonomouStuff will conduct testing on a defined route in downtown Peoria, Illinois, as it collects data and tests software on two automated research and development vehicles, according to a press release.
“The goal of the Open Autonomy Pilot is to enable, accelerate and deploy technology that drives the future of autonomy,” explains 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.”
The initiative includes several parts, including the 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. The data collected during the driving sessions will also become part of a digital simulation used to test and validate AutonomouStuff’s complete platform for “safety-conscious automated technology development.”
The pilot has several layers of safety incorporated into it, beginning with months of software testing in simulation. Additionally, highly trained safety drivers will maintain full manual control of the vehicles at all times on the road, as they drive at low speeds while conducting tests during non-peak traffic hours and closely monitor the simulated software.
“Our region has such a rich history of innovation, and this project demonstrates our determination to meet the demands of the future,” says Jeff Griffin, president and CEO of the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce and CEO Council. “We are beyond thrilled to see this pilot project become a reality.”