FirstGroup announces autonomous vehicle testing partnership in California

Transport operator FirstGroup has signed an agreement with GoMentum Station, a 2,000-hectare test facility in Concord, California, to carry out research into shared autonomous vehicles.

The group’s US division First Transit will test new transport applications at the facility, including its pilot project to deploy the first commercially operated shared autonomous vehicle on public roads in the US.

GoMentum Station, the largest secure test track of its kind, is one of the ten automated vehicle proving grounds designated by the US Department of Transportation earlier this year.

“The partnership with GoMentum Station allows us to identify new mobility solutions for our customers using shared autonomous vehicle technology,” said Brad Thomas, president of First Transit.

“We see the broad application of this technology as a great first and last mile solution plus countless other transportation challenges.”

Randell Iwasaki, Executive Director of the Contra Costa Transportation Authority, said: “The partnership with First Transit expands the international reach of GoMentum Station, and will provide a unique opportunity for multi-modal testing with a firm that specializes in transit operations.

“This will enable us to explore how automated vehicles can complement and enhance existing mobility options.”