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Arlington, Mass., to Gradually Expand AV Testing Opportunities

A memorandum of understanding with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation is opening the door to companies looking to test driverless vehicles in public.

by Abbi Matheson, Wicked Local Metro / June 22, 2018

(TNS) — On June 21, Arlington became one of a dozen communities to enter a Memorandum of Understanding with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) to expand autonomous vehicle testing in their communities.

That does not mean autonomous vehicles will flood Massachusetts Avenue by the end of the week.

Town Manager Adam Chapdelaine told the Advocate that the communities which signed the memorandum will work together to develop an application program for autonomous vehicle companies. Once that program is developed, companies can begin applying and may begin testing on Arlington roadways.

The development process would also allow communities to include their own local requirements in the application program, such as restricting testing sites to specific roadways and locations.

On Jan. 8, the Select Board agreed to allow Chapdelaine to take these first steps in the process of bringing autonomous vehicle testing to Arlington.

Chapdelaine also noted that just because Arlington is a member of this memorandum does not mean autonomous vehicles will ever be tested here. Roads in Arlington may not be conducive for autonomous vehicle testing.

According to a press release from MassDOT, the new memorandum "streamlines and standardizes the process for companies seeking to test Autonomous Vehicles on Massachusetts roadways."

©2018 Wicked Local Metro, Needham, Mass. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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