Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has convened a task force that will formulate how autonomous and connected vehicles will be tested in his state.
 - Photo via World Travel and Tourism Council/Flickr.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has convened a task force that will formulate how autonomous and connected vehicles will be tested in his state.

Photo via World Travel and Tourism Council/Flickr.

The Texas Department of Transportation is developing a Connected and Autonomous Vehicle Task Force with the goal of advancing Texas as a hub for new initiatives and investments in self-driving vehicle projects.

The department has long been interested in the progress and ultimate deployment of autonomous vehicles because they have the potential to greatly reduce crashes and improve roadway safety.

The new task force will serve as a one-stop resource for information and coordination on all ongoing connected and autonomous vehicle projects in the state, including those related to the freight industry. The group will document efforts by public and private organizations and facilitate new partnerships. To foster progress and collaboration, the task force will also host educational industry events and report "lessons learned."

With its highly regarded universities, a strong workforce and a startup culture, Texas has made a name for itself in the technology space and transportation is the latest frontier. The new task force will build on the momentum already established with the Texas Technology Task Force and the Texas Innovation Alliance, and work with interested parties on leading edge projects and enhancements.

"As transportation technology advances, the task force will ensure that the Lone Star state remains at the forefront of innovation," said Gov. Greg Abbott.

The task force will continue to enable companies to pursue innovative ideas around the technology in a business-friendly environment. It will also build on legislation passed by the 85th Legislature related to how connected and autonomous vehicles can operate in Texas.

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