Usti commissions first feasibility study for testing autonomous cars in CZ
The winner of the public tender for a feasibility study on testing of autonomous cars in Usti nad Labem is KPMG CZ in collaboration with the Czech Technical University. Usti nad Labem has already signed an agreement with the consulting firm, thus becoming the first city in the Czech Republic to commission a feasibility study on this topic. The findings of the study should be published by the end of September 2018.
The study’s primary goal is to determine the conditions required for testing of autonomous cars as well as suitable locations within the Usti nad Labem city limits. The specialised analysis will also assess the eventual construction of a certified test track and possibilities for testing autonomous cars on the D8 motorway between Usti and Dresden. “We’d like to be a mecca for new technology, a city that presents an immense opportunity for modernisation of the economy and a place with the potential to attract the attention of top companies and experts,” says Usti mayor Vera Nechybova.
Last June, the Innovation Centre of the Usti Region (ICUK) together with Usti representative Martin Hausenblas initiated negotiations on the testing of autonomous cars and drew up documentation for a public tender. “We’re a bit closer to achieving our vision of making Usti nad Labem a centre for autonomy and smart mobility. In parallel we’ve also opened discussions with our German counterparts, namely with their autonomous systems authority, Fraunhofer-Institut für Verkehrs- und Infrastruktursysteme, and we are working to find a joint solution for, among other things, testing autonomous cars on the D8 motorway. The results of the feasibility study will help us in future steps,” says Tomas Sivicek, head of the Innovation Centre of the Usti Region.
Funding for the study, which is part of the so-called U „SMART“ ZONE project, is provided by the Restart programme of the Czech transportation ministry.
On Wednesday, February 7, the ICUK negotiated with the key players and experts in the field of autonomous mobility on both the Czech and German sides: Fraunhofer-Institut für Verkehrs- und Infrastruktursysteme, Euroregion Elbe/Labe, TU Chemnitz, the Czech transporatation ministry, J. E. Purkyne University, the Czech Technical University, the city of Usti nad Labem, and companies Valeo, Vodafone CZ, SKODA, Liftago, Sarolea, and IBM.
Special thanks goes to the office of government plenipotentiary for the Usti, Moravian-Silesian, and Karlovy Vary regions Gabriela Nekolova and Karel Tichy, who played an important role in getting the topic of smart and autonomous transportation on the agenda of the Restart action plan of the Usti and Karlovy Vary regions.