German luxury automaker Mercedes-Benz is expanding its autonomous driving program from the Autobahn to the United States. Mercedes recently announced plans to test self-driving technology at the Concord Naval Weapons Station in the San Francisco Bay Area. This is perfect timing for Mercedes, able to use the old military base before it is turned over to the city for redevelopment.
Mercedes will conduct simulation tests with autonomous vehicles using the base's 20 miles of paved roads, including technology that allows vehicles to communicate with one another and traffic lights.
"There's very limited connected infrastructure right now, and that's what we're trying to bring and expand throughout the country," said Jack Hall, Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) program manager, in an interview with local media. "The goal is to not have cars idling at stoplights, to reduce congestion and (achieve) the vision of zero automobile fatalities."