Driverless cars headed to Chula Vista

City chosen as proving ground for new tech
Posted at 9:37 PM, Jun 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-14 00:39:52-04

CHULA VISTA, Calif. (KGTV) -- The City of Chula Vista could soon see a lot more driverless vehicles on its streets.  The US Department of Transportation tabbed the South Bay city as one of its proving grounds for autonomous vehicles.  The testing is expected to begin in January.

“This is just a testing phase,” said Chula Vista City Engineer Bill Valle. “At some point, it’s going to turn into a deployment phase and we want to be on the forefront of being able to deploy some of these autonomous vehicles or autonomous shuttles throughout the city.”

Valle said the proving ground will give Chula Vista direct contact with high tech and automobile companies working on the driverless technologies.  Those relationships could prove to be fruitful for future business developments.

“We’ll be on the forefront of gaining the knowledge and expertise that’s going to be coming from those type of efforts,” said Valle.

The US DOT chose 10 locations around the country as proving grounds.  Chula Vista is the only location on the West Coast that will allow testing on city streets.  Most of the other locations are on closed tracks.

“You won’t even know that those vehicles will be driving around unless you see that they have antennas on them,” Valle said.