Conveniently, Sacramento is reaching its need for a transportation infrastructure update just as emerging technologies reshape the way we view mobility. SUTL is tasked with discovering, scaling, and launching innovative transportation solutions; providing an opportunity to reshape how the city, state, nation, and even world, come to understand the new age of transportation.
Sacramento’s current transportation infrastructure is composed of a diverse array of modalities, providing the perfect testing ground for new technologies. From its downtown-grid to its tight-knit suburbs, its public transit to its commuter communities, Sacramento has it all. Yet this diverse testing ground presents a similarly diverse set of mobility issues; including access, emission, traffic fatalities and injuries, congestion, and parking. As the city moves forward, it must incorporate new technologies to solve these problems.
Sacramento recognizes autonomous, connected, shared, and electric vehicles as the next frontier of transportation. The city aims to advance the progress already made in the mobility space by fostering companies looking to work in Sacramento.
SUTL approaches this goal with two prongs. First, SUTL helps companies start and grow in Sacramento through pilots and local permitting. Second, SUTL leverages the full force of its ties to regional developers, the California Mobility Center, UC Davis, Regional Transit, Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD), Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG), Autonomous Transportation Open Standards Lab (ATOS), and the California State Legislature.
The City launched the Autonomous Transportation Open Standards LAB (ATOS) in 2017 to make it a testing ground for future urban mobility from both a technology and policy perspective. So far, ATOS has resulted in partnerships and pilots with companies like Deepen AI, Foresight AI, Olli, Phantom Auto, and Kiwi. It also enabled companies to pilot their projects near policymakers who could pass enabling rules and regulations and serve as ongoing autonomy allies. In conjunction with the California Mobility Center, ATOS is working to create a regulatory environment to make it easy for companies to test their products in Sacramento.
"The City of Sacramento recently partnered with Deepen.ai to use the company’s 2D and 3D annotation technology on a project designed to speed the development and safe deployment of autonomous vehicle technology for the benefit of the city. The Deepen team will annotate ground data captured by Foresight AI’s drones, which are deployed with advanced sensing technologies, such as lidar, cameras, survey-grade GPS, and inertial measurement units. Foresight AI, a Deepen partner, will process the multi-sensor data collected over the designated routes and generate high-definition, highly-accurate, colorized, 3D maps. "
In 2020, SUTL and Deepen.AI expanded their partnership by joining forces as part of SafetyPool. Safety Pool creates one central location that collects autonomous vehicle data to share among major stakeholders of self-driving technologies. The City is excited to be the first government agency to partner with Safety Pool to improve the development of safer autonomous vehicles and establish a consensus on operational safety. By partnering with Safety Pool, cities can inform regulatory best practices and enable faster adoption of safe autonomous technologies.
In 2018, Sacramento partnered with Phantom Auto to prepare the city to support teleoperation safety technology for driverless vehicles. California law forbids AV companies from conducting driverless testing on public roads unless they utilize remote operators like Phantom Auto. Sacramento’s partnership with Phantom Auto fits with its strategy of establishing itself as a prime testing ground for new mobility technologies, including the safe deployment of AVs. The effort has been spearheaded by Mayor Darrell Steinberg, U.S. Rep. Doris Matsui, Sen. Richard Pan and Sacramento Kings co-owner and Chairman Vivek Ranadivé.
Sacramento benefits from the internationally renowned UC Davis Institute of Transportation Studies (ITS). ITS studies a wide range of transportation issues ranging from transportation behavior to safety and electrification. ITS makes the Sacramento region a hotspot for transportation companies looking for validation studies and research to support evidence based policy.