The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC), and the Regional Industrial Development Corporation (RIDC) of Southwestern PA are partnering to plan and design the Pennsylvania Safety, Transportation and Research Track (PennSTART).
PennSTART will be a state-of-the-art facility that will benefit emergency responders, transportation technology companies and research institutes.
The facility will perform testing and development of automated vehicles (AVs). It will also meet safety, training and research needs in six areas: audio-visual and other emerging technologies, commercial vehicles, traffic incident management, toll systems and intelligent transport technology, public transport vehicles and work areas.
The facility would be built adjacent to the INCD Westmoreland site in Mount Pleasant.
RIDC Westmoreland was created by renovating a 2.8 million square foot manufacturing facility. It is home to Westmoreland Community College’s Advanced Technology Center, a workforce development provider, contract manufacturers, audio-visual companies and other tenants.
PennDOT, the PTC and their partners have improved traffic incident management.
State agencies and stakeholder groups met at a summit in 2016 to discuss the issue and establish policies and partnerships. The following year, the Pennsylvania Traffic Incident Management Improvement Initiative was created. Five state agencies formalized an interagency agreement in 2018.
Over 20,000 responders have been trained through the initiative.