Jacksonville Transportation Authority CEO Nathaniel Ford Sr. and Florida State College at Jacksonville President John Avendano signed a memorandum of understanding to expand the JTA’s autonomous vehicle Test & Learn program on FSCJ’s Cecil Center Campus.
The expansion includes using FSCJ’s Commercial Drivers License Test Track at the Cecil Center, the development of educational curriculum for autonomous vehicles and related technologies, and the eventual launch of an autonomous vehicle circulator on an FSCJ campus, according to an Aug. 26 news release.
The JTA board of directors approved the agreement May 28.
Ford said in the release the partnership will help educate and prepare the next generation of transportation professionals.
“This initiative will not only support our students’ learning and training, preparing them for the jobs of tomorrow, but we know it will also put a spotlight on our community, advancing the job market and the economy as a whole,” Avendano said.
The agreement lays the groundwork for an autonomous vehicle circulator to operate on an FSCJ campus in the future.
JTA has been working with autonomous vehicle technology since 2017 as it plans to launch the Ultimate Urban Circulator program, a 10-mile Downtown transportation network planned to replace the Skyway and to expand that system through ground level connections into the surrounding neighborhoods.
A request for proposals for the first phase of the project, the Bay Street Innovation Corridor, is scheduled to open in September. That phase is partially funded with a $12.5 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration.