Illinois launches ‘Autonomous Illinois’ initiative for connected and automated vehicles

The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) has launched a new initiative – ‘Autonomous Illinois’ – to develop a testing programme for connected and automated vehicles.

Autonomous Illinois will connect communities interested in connected and automated vehicle testing with industry, universities, research institutions and other technology partners.

In an executive order, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner directed IDOT to oversee the programme, aimed at moving the state to the forefront of research into connected and automated vehicle technologies.

“As the transportation hub for the entire country, Illinois is ideally situated to be a leader in the research of connected and automated vehicles,” said Rauner.



“This technology is here and Illinois is ready to embrace it. Working with our public and private partners, we can make our roads safer, save lives, attract investment and create new high-tech jobs throughout the state.”

Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn said: “We want testing to happen here in Illinois, but we want to do it safely. Thanks to the governor’s leadership, we can bring our state’s impressive resources together to build a system of transportation that moves people and goods in new ways and puts us at the forefront of innovation.”

"As the transportation hub for the entire country, Illinois is ideally situated to be a leader in the research of connected and automated vehicles."

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner

The programme will be supported by IDOT and a number of other state agencies, including the Illinois State Police, Illinois Tollway, Department of Insurance and Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

“As Illinois moves forward with the testing and development of connected and automated vehicles, state police will introduce the change in culture to our officers and help educate motorists when new laws are enacted,” said director of Illinois State Police Leo Schmitz.

“The ISP is committed to making public safety our No. 1 priority and we welcome this technology together to help reduce fatalities and serious injury crashes.”