Automated Vehicles

The applications surrounding successfully developing self-driving cars and other vehicles are reshaping not only the auto industry, but mobility worldwide. As a U.S. Department of Transportation designated AV Proving Grounds, Wisconsin is at the forefront of these transformative technologies, and the R&D we do contributes to revolutionizing how the world uses transportation. Scroll down or explore additional resources to learn more.

The Wisconsin AV Proving Grounds partners are a natural choice for the AV R&D because of the range of environments and facilities available to accommodate the testing of a wide variety of different technologies and applications. These range from lab-based and simulated environments, the closed track at MGA Research in Burlington, Road America in Elkhart Lake, corporate campuses, the UW-Madison campus, and public roads.

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Automated Vehicle Technology

Avid attention on automated or autonomous vehicle (AV) technology is widespread and burgeoning, and the collaborative groundwork being laid in Wisconsin is a prime example. Wisconsin is leading the development of deeper understanding of this transformative technology and how it can be harnessed for the greater good of society. Researchers with the College of Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison) assess the benefits, technical aspects, and risks of AV, as well as collaborate on policy issues with government. AVs are rapidly pushing technical, safety, acceptability, legal, regulatory, and liability boundaries.

AVs have significant potential to improve safety and quality of life. More specifically, AV shared mobility can provide ladders of opportunity to all, including previously underserved communities. Furthermore, AVs can bring significant new research and development opportunities to UW-Madison and new businesses to the state of Wisconsin, including startups and tech companies.

Navya Arma

How Automated Vehicles Work

AV Technology - Top View
AV Technology - Cameras

Cameras

Cameras gather visual information from the road and traffic control and send them to the controller for processing.

AV Technology - LiDAR

LiDAR

LiDAR sensors bounce lasers off of detected objects. LiDAR can detect road lines and assets and differentiate objects.

AV Technology - Radar

Radar

Radar sensors bounce radio waves off detected objects. Radar cannot differentiate objects.

GPS Unit

GPS Unit

The GPS unit identifies the precise position of the vehicle and aids in navigation.

About the Proving Grounds

The mission of the Wisconsin AV Proving Grounds (AVPG) is to provide a path to public road evaluation by contributing to the safe and rapid advancement of automated vehicle development and deployment, and providing a full suite of test environments, coupled with research, open data, and stakeholder communication. Our team’s philosophy holds paramount safety, followed by best practice tenets of security and open data. Without these fundamental elements, we recognize it makes little difference what our readiness is or what research and development objectives may be.

AV Working Group

Proving Grounds Objectives

Objective - Data and Sensing

Data and sensing including LIDAR, GPS, cameras, communications, and other sensors. This parallels the Safety Assessment point on Object and Event Detection and Response.

Objective - Testing and Validation

Testing and validation methods for AV systems.

Objective - Standards

Advancing standards, safety protocols, and security.

Objective - Vehicle Operations

Vehicle operations including speed, acceleration and deceleration, performance on grades and curves, and in the case of electric vehicles, range and charging time.

Objective - Interfaces

Human-machine interfaces such as sensors, communications, and responses. For this item, our team has the opportunity to leverage the full-scale driving simulator at UW-Madison’s College of Engineering.

Objective - Interaction

Interaction with pedestrians, bicycles, mopeds, cars, and traffic control devices.

Objective - Weather

Inclement weather operations including snow, ice, fog, and high winds. One of the larger unknowns for AVs is winter operation.

Objective - Passenger

Passenger comfort, public perception, and safety improvement.

AV microtransit developments, enhancements, and testing.

Testing Timeline

Testing timeline

Mandli Communications

MGA Research

Road America

UW – Madison

Corporate Campuses

City of Madison

Testing Facility

Testing Types

Proving Grounds Facilities

The team includes the second largest city in Wisconsin, the region’s largest private employer, a premier private proving grounds in operation for decades, one of the nation’s most reputable race tracks, public agencies, and Wisconsin’s flagship research university. Researchers with the UW-Madison College of Engineering will manage and oversee all aspects of the AV proving grounds work, as well as provide research, development, and data stewardship. A key partner on this team is the automotive proving grounds facility owned and operated by MGA Research Corporation near Burlington, WI. The City of Madison and other agencies are partners for AV policy development, regulation, and operations on their roads.

1

Mandli Communications

Fitchburg, WI

2

MGA Research

Burlington, WI

3

Road America

Elkhart Lake, WI

4

UW – Madison

Madison, WI

5

City of Madison

Madison, WI

6

Chippewa Valley Regional Airport

Eau Claire, WI

Additionally, we work with corporate campuses to test automated vehicles in workplace environments, accounting for such factors as safety, usability, and acceptance.

Automated Vehicle Events

IEEE Madison AVs

Madison, Wisconsin

October 19, 2017

ITS World Congress

Montreal, Quebec

October 29 – November 02, 2017

Our Partners

News from the Proving Grounds

The Future of Transportation is Here in Racine, WI

The City of Racine, as part of Smart Racine efforts, is pioneering the introduction and integration of an automated vehicle (AV) shuttle into public transportation systems in Wisconsin.

The Racine AV shuttle, known as the “Badger”, represents the first municipal AV deployment in Wisconsin and heralds the future of transportation: automated, connected, electrified and shared. As such, Racine AV provides a unique opportunity for the citizens and businesses of Racine and throughout Wisconsin to personally experience AV transportation, explore the positive impact of its implementation, and envision the many benefits that follow along.

Access to jobs, grocery stores, healthcare, education, and cultural, recreational, and other opportunities varies among communities in urban regions leaving certain communities underserved. While the underlying causes of inequitable community growth are complex and multi-faceted, limited transit options compound the issue and contribute to a vicious cycle of social inequity, having implications for health, wealth, education, and safety of these communities. The Racine AV shuttle service is being designed to deploy and demonstrate how emerging automated transportation solutions can be harnessed effectively and symbiotically within existing public transportation systems to address the glaring disparities in our society.

The initial deployment of the shuttle is anticipated to be a fixed-route service in downtown Racine. A trained Racine Transit operator will be in control of the vehicle at all times including when operating in AV mode. After building community trust, the AV shuttle could be potentially used for an on-demand service in the off-peak hours.

The Racine AV shuttle deployment will also enable cutting edge research and training related to autonomous, connected, and electric vehicle technologies. The City’s partnership with the Gateway Technical College and the University of Wisconsin-Madison draws from Wisconsin’s highly respected technical college and university systems to develop a first rate living laboratory for advanced transportation research, education, and training. The University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Traffic Operations and Safety Laboratory (TOPS Lab) will work alongside professionals in Racine’s public, private, and nonprofit sectors to develop and refine the technical elements of the AV shuttle deployment. The TOPS Lab researchers will monitor and evaluate the safety and operation of the AV shuttle. The Gateway Technical College will house the shuttle and incorporate it into education and training opportunities to prepare the workforce for future employment opportunities.

The AV shuttle is powered by TONY® (short for “TO Navigate You”) developed by Perrone Robotics Inc. Perrone Robotics is a leading provider of reliable fully autonomous vehicle technology and turn-key vehicle solutions for the mobility of people and things. Their TONY AV technology embeds inside of any vehicle type for any job application, to provide a complete “artificial driver” solution that brings full autonomy in a safety certifiable framework.

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Contact the Proving Grounds

College of Engineering

1415 Engineering Drive

Madison WI 53706

United States

Wisconsin

608.890.0509

Washington, D.C.

202.568.2273

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Recent AV Forums

Date
Location
Speakers
Aug 15 2018

TAPCO

5100 W Brown Deer Road

Brown Deer WI 53223

Brian Scharles Jr

Steve Cyra

Rob Fischer

Art Harrington

Ray Mandli

Mar 20 2018

American Family Insurance

6000 American Parkway

Madison WI 53783

Lingqiao Qin

Todd Smith

Sean Kelly

Feb 23 2018

AAA

8401 Excelsior Drive

Madison WI 53717

Ray Mandli

Jamie Retterath

Nicholas Jarmusz

Dec 11 2017

Godfrey & Kahn

833 E. Michigan Street, Suite 1800

Milwaukee WI 53202

Peter Rafferty

Asher Elmquist

Joe Vruwink

Ray Mandli

Nov 7 2017

Fitchburg Public Library

5530 Lacy Road

Fitchburg WI 53711

Art Harrington

Ted Nickel

Steve Cyra

Adam Neylon

Oct 5 2017

Fitchburg Public Library

5530 Lacy Road

Fitchburg WI 53711

Peter Rafferty

Ray Mandli

J.P. Wieske

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