ST. GEORGE — When 94% of serious automotive crashes are caused by human error, autonomous vehicles are poised to offer society a variety of benefits — most importantly, to reduce injuries and save lives.
According to a press release from the city of St. George, along with an opportunity to ride inside a cutting-edge Autonomous Shuttle Pilot vehicle, the 2020 Dixie Regional Transportation Expo – taking place Tuesday at the Dixie Center St. George – will present an opportunity for residents to gain understanding of projects involving roads, transit, traffic lights and bike trail developments across Southern Utah.
Planners and community leaders will discuss projects involving state Route 9, a future Southern Parkway connection, Hurricane City’s newly adopted transportation masterplan, SunTran’s new routes and the St. George Regional Airport masterplan.
‘This could provide a more independent life’
The Utah Department of Transportation, in partnership with the Utah Transit Authority, recently launched the Autonomous Shuttle Pilot, an electric vehicle with a capacity of 12 passengers. The shuttle, which follows a predetermined route, is equipped with a full range of sensors to react in real-time to other vehicles, pedestrians and any other obstacles. A shuttle host is on board to monitor operations.
The Autonomous Shuttle Pilot will be deployed through April of this year and is traveling to different communities throughout Utah. The shuttle provides the public with the opportunity to experience and better understand autonomous vehicle technology and provide feedback on the future of transportation in Utah.
According to the website for the shuttle program, one of the goals of deploying autonomous vehicles is to help improve access and increase mobility to meet the needs of Utah’s communities. In the near future, shuttles may complement Utah’s transit system.
“For those with a disability, the elderly or no direct access to public transit, this could provide a more independent life,” the website states.
Admission to the Dixie Regional Transportation Expo is free. The expo will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and autonomous vehicle rides are expected to begin at noon.
- What: 2020 Dixie Transportation Expo.
- When: Tuesday, Feb. 11, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Where: Dixie Center St. George, 1835 S. Convention Center Drive, St. George.
- Information: Website.