METRO Celebrates Texas Automated Vehicle Proving Ground Designation

Press Release New Metro Going Places

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Release Date:
Jan. 27, 2017

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The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO) is the region’s largest public transit provider, offering safe, reliable and affordable transportation services about 370,000 times per day. Besides operating more than 1,200 buses on a New Bus Network,METRORail's expanded system includes the Red Line (Main Street and Northline), Green Line (East End) and Purple Line (Southeast). METRO’s services also include: STAR VanpoolMETROLiftHOV/HOT lanesBike & Ride program, Park & Ride, and road improvement projects. Learn more about METRO services at where you will also find information about our T.R.I.P. app, and METRO's Next Bus Arrival texting as well as our free Mobile TIcketing app. 


New AV Proving Ground Targets Safer Transit

Av vehicle

In the not-too-distant future, self-braking or platooning technology won't be features limited to high-end, luxury vehicles. In an effort to ensure regional mobility and safety in an era of automated vehicle (AV) technology, METRO and its statewide partners will work together to share and develop best practices and standards  

Texas is now designated by the U.S. Department of Transportation as an AV Proving Ground.  METRO and other partners joined Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI), the University of Texas at Austin's Center for Transportation Research (CTR) and Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) to win the designation along with nine other proposers. It is a signal to industry that public transit will be part of automated vehicle technology advancements aimed at saving time, money and most importantly, lives. Testing will start in controlled environments, but could soon move to streets like those of the Texas Medical Center and METRO HOV lanes. 

“Houston ranks 6th in the nation for traffic congestion. We’re always looking for opportunities to improve high-capacity transit and safety through collaboration and innovation,” said METRO President & CEO Tom Lambert. “This designation allows METRO to work with cities, agencies and research institutions to address challenges and define the future of Texas mobility.”

Texas mobility

METRO's role in the Texas AV Proving Ground Partnership is an outgrowth of the Texas Mobility Summit where teams representing cities and research facilities agreed to begin leveraging collective resources to seek opportunities to advance AV technology.

"When we consider how we will address growing problems relating to traffic and personal mobility, AV technology offers considerable promise. The type of vehicle technology developed in this proving ground could shape future transportation," said METRO Executive Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer Dr. Terence Fontaine.

METRO will host the Houston group's meeting next week.