|By Mark Orcutt, Communications and Outreach Manager
(Photo Credit: Shawn Clover )
Self-driving cars are not just for Tom Cruise anymore. And they may be the future of transportation and job creation in the East Bay.
On Tuesday, the City of Concord and the Contra Costa Transportation Authority reached an agreement to govern the testing of autonomous vehicles (among other smart and connected transportation technologies) at the Concord Naval Weapons Station.
The 5,000–acre naval station closed in 2008 and features 20 miles of paved roadway perfect for putting these driverless cars through the wringer of East Bay road conditions. So far, two major auto manufacturers have agreed to test at the GoMentum Station facility, but a diverse set of companies including up to three more automakers may take advantage of this premier research facility.
As momentum builds for the East Bay to establish itself as the hub for innovative transportation technology, the call to ease gridlock grows.
The Board of Directors for the Contra Costa Economic Partnership (our favorite sister organization!) is poised to help steer the issue at their upcoming board meeting on Monday because it serves as the fiscal agent for the GoMentum Station program. The Partnership is fortunate to have the leadership of Concord City Manager, Valerie Barone, and Executive Director of the Contra Costa Transportation Authority, Randy Iwasaki, on their board as they navigate the future of transportation and job creation opportunities at the largest undeveloped parcel in the Bay Area.
Along with the CCEP, the East Bay Leadership Council is thrilled about the opportunity to tackle two of the most pressing issues for our region: job creation and traffic congestion. And we will continue to be supportive of further development in the advanced transportation sector as it is sure to make travel safer, more reliable, and increasingly efficient in our region.
The Council looks forward to working with the CCTA, City of Concord, and the residents and employers of the East Bay to capitalize on this momentum to innovate into jobs and out of gridlock.