Jan 17, 2019 – Sprint and the City recently announced an all-new ground-breaking project in Peachtree Corners where the city is building an intelligent vehicle test track which will feature Sprint’s low-latency 5G technology combined with Curiosity IoT and micro-positioning. “Curiosity™ Lab at Peachtree Corners,” a real-world laboratory, will consist of a 1.5-mile test track constructed within the 500-acre Technology Park. Launching in the spring of this year, the track will be used to develop and test self-driving shuttles as well as act as a testbed for advanced vehicles and IoT services.
Peachtree Corners and Sprint will create a state-of-art living transportation laboratory that will allow new intelligent mobility technologies to be tested and evaluated in real-world driving conditions. The 5G wireless connectivity will allow for the testing of vehicle-to-vehicle communication, vehicle-to-infrastructure communication and “over the horizon” warnings. It will be possible, for example, to test how connected cars can communicate to make lane changing and highway exiting safer and more efficient, how above-road warning messages might instead be sent to and displayed on car dashboards and how drivers might receive in-car alerts about approaching connected emergency vehicles.
The partnership with Sprint will make it possible to develop and test advanced technologies that can communicate with multiple devices simultaneously, a critical component for autonomous vehicles to operate.
“The addition of the 5G network is a big leap from our announcement last year in which we unveiled our plans for an AV track,” said Councilmember Alex Wright, who first introduced the idea of adding autonomous vehicles to the city. “Adding 5G will enable developers using the city’s test track the ability to develop and test the most advanced technologies in the industry.”
Initially the AV track was designed to run only on one side of the road, but to simulate real-life road conditions, vehicles would need to run on both sides. In the coming months work will begin to re-configure Technology Parkway which runs from Spalding Drive to Peachtree Parkway into four lanes – two outer lanes for the AV test track and the inner two lanes for automobiles. The test track will be separated from the road used by vehicles by bollards and signage.
Prototype Prime, the city’s startup incubator, will be an important part of the city’s test lab, which will be called Curiosity™ Lab at Peachtree Corners. The startup incubator, located on Technology Parkway, houses an intelligent mobility accelerator program and is recruiting software and hardware technology startups that want to be among the first to test its applications in a 5G-capible environment.
The track will be available for both startups and established companies to experiment and demonstrate new and emerging advanced vehicle and smart city technologies. The track will serve as a transportation laboratory and exhibition site for companies of all sizes that want to test and demonstrate new technologies.
“Creating an environment for developing smart mobility technology will be a tremendous asset for our city,” said Mayor Mike Mason. “It will bring AV technology development businesses to establish their businesses in Technology Park which will re-energize this important area of our city. Our young city is living up to its “innovative and remarkable” tagline as future intelligent mobility technologies are developed here in Peachtree Corners.”