Autonomous Vehicle Test Track Planned for UConn Campus

The Connecticut Transportation Institute (CTI), part of the School of Engineering, and Promesa Capital have developed a concept for a Connected and Autonomous Vehicle (CAV) test track and research facility at the University of Connecticut (UConn).

UConn’s Board of Trustees has granted Promesa an option to buy 105 acres of land in the southwest portion of UConn’s Depot Campus, which could become the home of the region’s first comprehensive research facility for autonomous vehicles and future transportation planning.

Autonomous Vehicle UConn
‘Smart city’ research and the transportation planning related to the field are among several emerging fields in which UConn is working to become a national leader

The option provides Promesa with nine months, and the option of four extensions, to review the site’s suitability, conduct testing and reviews, and seek zoning approvals with the Town of Mansfield. If approved, UConn would sell the property for 5 million USD.

Promesa intends to use the site for a 30 million USD facility named Spectrum Park. The site would be available for use by UConn for research and development initiatives focussed on transportation planning and autonomous vehicle testing.

Eric Jackson, director of the Connecticut Transportation Institute and an associate research professor of civil and environmental engineering, said:

“We want to be able to train the public and municipalities on the latest technology, and how to install and maintain the transportation systems of the future.

“We hope to spin off and inspire some startup companies, while also connecting with global companies that can use this facility to demonstrate, test, and research their products. We want this to be an open space for learning and sharing of ideas to improve safety, efficiency, resiliency, and sharing of data and ideas.”

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