Where the industry leader Waymo has so far primarily tested its vehicle technology, other companies will soon be running test curves as well.
The 105-hectare test field of Google’s sister company Waymo is located on the former Castle Air Force Base in Merced in the US state of California. In total, however, the site measures 225 hectares, which the new operator Transportation Research Center (TRC) now plans to manage. The site is located about 185 kilometers east of Silicon Valley and has been Waymo’s playground since 2018. During the Corona-related testing pause, it was possible to continue testing here.
TRC already operates a test center in Liberty in the state of Ohio and has found its specialization in testing vehicles. TRC claims to be the largest testing company in the United States. The contract to operate the new test center is for ten years. The test facility will be designed for autonomous and connected driving.
The much-paved roads of the former runways, in particular, make the field so attractive as a test site, according to a report by the consulting firm KPMG. The former military infrastructure is also useful. The well-known GoMentum test site in San Francisco Bay was also originally a military station.