Gov. Hickenlooper declares Dec. 4 "Connected and Autonomous Vehicle Day"
Panasonic, a global leader in smart cities and smart automotive technology solutions, welcomed Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper to its Denver offices, where he proclaimed December 4 as "Connected and Autonomous Vehicle Day" to reinforce initiatives like Panasonic's connected vehicle partnership with CDOT's RoadX Program, as well as acknowledge EasyMile, a leader in autonomous technology, for their North American headquarters grand opening co-located within the Panasonic building.
"Colorado's reputation as a hub for advanced technologies takes a significant step forward today with Easy Mile's opening of their North American headquarters and aligning with the state's partner Panasonic," said Governor John Hickenlooper. "We are proud to be called the home to one of the world's leading autonomous transportation firms. By launching this first-of-its-kind connected vehicle program, we are rapidly leveraging transportation technology to improve safety and mobility on our roadways."
Enabled by the autonomous vehicle legislation that State Representatives, Governor Hickenlooper, and other critical stakeholders recently spearheaded, Panasonic and EasyMile, in coordination with Colorado Department of Transportation, the City and County of Denver, and the Regional Transit District are planning the implementation of an autonomous vehicle technology deployment next to the Panasonic building in spring 2018. The driverless shuttle program will connect RTD's 61st and Pena Stationlight rail station to bus routes on Tower Road, to provide a seamless first- and last-mile solution. This implementation will be the first project of its kind in North America.
Panasonic marked the milestone yesterday in its alliance with the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), by highlighting its connected vehicle operations center. Governor Hickenlooper, civic leaders and select corporate executives were invited to experience an exclusive demonstration of Colorado's first connected transportation program that shares real-time data across vehicles, infrastructure and people in order to improve safety and mobility on the road. Panasonic and CDOT have committed to preparing the statewide deployment of an eco-system of connected cars and autonomous vehicles. This effort, which is already underway, is expected to significantly reduce crashes and injuries, improve traffic flow and increase capacity of the highway.
"We are excited to show Governor Hickenlooper our V2V and V2I technologies that connect critical information with travelers," said Jarrett Wendt, EVP Panasonic Enterprise Solutions Company. "Connected vehicles on Smart Highways provide the most advanced safety and mobility capabilities, which can directly impact the safety and security of drivers in Denver and throughout Colorado."
In addition to Panasonic's connected vehicle technology demonstration, EasyMile highlighted its autonomous shuttle at the Peña Station NEXT development. Announced as part of the December 4 proclamation ceremony, the EasyMile shuttle made its inaugural ride to Peña Station, offering a practical application of first- and last-mile connections with existing public transit systems. This unique coordination between EasyMile, RTD, CDOT, City and County of Denver, and Panasonic is one of the first of its kind in the United States. Governor Hickenlooper and Mayor Hancock were the first passengers on the shuttle's inaugural trip. The route is set to be in service in late Spring/early Summer 2018.
''We are excited to introduce our driverless shuttles to Colorado and proud to become a part of Denver's growing business economy," said Gilbert Gagnaire, CEO and Founder of EasyMile. "We selected Denver as our North America headquarters for many reasons: the regulations are very supportive of our technology, we've already established partnerships with many Denver-based organizations, including Colorado DOT, RTD, the City and County of Denver, Panasonic and NREL, and there is a wealth of talent to leverage."
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