Self-Parking is Coming to DFW International Airport » Dallas Innovates
Auto-valet services arrive at DFW International Airport.
Autonomous parking technology company STEER Tech plans to use the airport as a test bed for an automated parking ecosystem as part of the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) program to use driverless technology to accommodate the region’s growing population.
“The [autonomous vehicle] the testing is part of the airport team’s focus on efficient mobility throughout the airport,” said Paul Puopolo, executive vice president of innovation at DFW International Airport, in a statement.
The Maryland-based company said the autonomous ecosystem will consist of three subsystems: automated valet parking, digital sidewalk management, and parking management for autonomous vehicles. The pilot of the technology will take place at Terminal A, with the aim of reducing congestion in the drop-off and pick-up areas by telling cars where to go and coordinating with other vehicles.
Testing STEER’s technology will last between three and six months, with Puopolo telling the Fort Worth report that autonomous vehicles could park at DFW within the next five to eight years.
“Parking is vital, it’s another one of those vital bridge technologies,” Clint Hail, transportation planner at NCTCOG, said at the organization’s meeting last month. “It’s something that’s happening now…and it’s only going to accelerate. Finding ways to do parking differently in light of these technologies is really a great opportunity.
Autonomous technology across the region
The pilot is funded by NCTCOG’s Regional Transportation Council (RTC) Automated Vehicles Program, which has allocated $1.5 million for the test. Last month, the Local Government Voluntary Association added $3 million to fund a handful of driverless technology projects in the region, adding to the more than $31 million allocated to the program since 2018.
With the additional money, the RTC is funding five projects, including the expansion of the City of Arlington’s RAPID program, a partnership between UT Arlington, Via Transportation and May Mobility to provide on-demand transportation services with self-driving vehicles . Other projects include partnering with nonprofit Feonix-Mobility Rising to bring self-driving vehicles to McKinney and South Dallas to serve as mobile sites for telehealth visits, increase broadband access in places like Lancaster and South Fort Worth, as well as introducing a system that automates traffic lights to get emergency vehicles to their destination quickly.
The first round of projects, funded in 2018, of the Automated Vehicles program included testing a self-driving vehicle truck port in Fort Worth, mobile food delivery services at Paul Quinn College, and an automated bus line on the DART operations between Dallas Love Field Airport and Inwood/Love Field Station.
“The greatest significance of this project…deepens the innovation portfolio in the region, creating a level playing field for every North Texas community to participate,” said Hail, who oversees the technology and business program. NCTCOG innovation.
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