FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

WHAT IS ATOS Labs?

The Autonomous Transportation Open Standards Lab (ATOS) Institute is a public-private partnership developed to create a testbed for connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) throughout the Sacramento Region. As a consortium, ATOS will facilitate collaboration among public agencies at all levels of government, industry partners, and experts to test and demonstrate CAV technologies in the real-world. ATOS Labs will document and open source its experience to accelerate the deployment and adoption of Level 3 - 5 CAV technologies.

WHY WAS ATOS Labs CREATED?

ATOS Labs was created to accelerate the testing, deployment, and adoption of Level 3 - 5 CAVs. With the development and testing of emerging CAVs and related technologies in isolation, critical questions must be answered about how these technologies converge within a single interoperable ecosystem to maximize public safety benefits. We know that CAVs will eventually eliminate nearly all of the 1.25 million traffic fatalities that occur year year around the world. ATOS Labs seeks to accelerate toward that future.

WHO’S BEHIND ATOS Labs?

Building on momentum in the Sacramento region, Congresswoman Doris Matsui, State Senator Richard Pan, Mayor Darrell Steinberg, and Sacramento Kings Chairman Vivek Ranadivé came together to co-create ATOS Labs in order to establish a beachhead for innovation and technology to flourish in the region. These leaders were inspired by the vision of innovation strategist Jay Sales, Director of The Shop at VSP Global. ATOS Labs is in the process of recruiting potential consortium members who will drive the overall direction of the partnership.

IS THERE A MEMBERSHIP FEE TO JOIN ATOS Labs?

Yes … A robust implementation of CAV technologies in a real-world urban area will require investment in sensors, infrastructure, and data systems that ensure vehicles can communicate with each other and the environment around them. By establishing a true public-private partnership, these costs can be shared across multiple public agencies and industry partners. We are currently seeking feedback on a membership fee structure.

WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY “OPEN STANDARDS”?

ATOS Labs is committed to ensuring that the intellectual property of ATOS Labs members is protected. By “open standards,” we’re referring to the exchange of data and information that will help ensure the algorithmic coordination of people and objects moving along Sacramento’s roads. For example, Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC) includes a set of protocols that enable one and two-way communication between and among vehicles and infrastructure.

DOES THE CITY OF SACRAMENTO HAVE A POLICY FOR AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES?

In conversations with potential industry partners, we’ve heard a consistent message about the need to avoid a patchwork of regulations across jurisdictions. The California Department of Vehicles (DMV) developed the regulations that include provisions for interaction between OEMs and local governments. We are currently seeking feedback from potential industry partners as to whether it makes sense at this point in time to develop an autonomous vehicles policy at the city-level.

WHERE IS THE DESIGNATED TESTING AREA?

The region is currently developing a set priority routes and use cases that will promote the increase of access, visibility, awareness and acceptance of the technology via demonstration projects.

HOW SOON CAN WE TEST AN AUTONOMOUS VEHICLE ON ROADS IN THE SACRAMENTO REGION?

Originally envisioned in 2017, actual demonstration will take place in Q4 of 2018. ATOS Labs intends to move forward with a phased approach that begins with teleoperated or connected vehicle pilot, followed by autonomous shuttles on dedicated, fixed routes. Based on results, ATOS Labs aims to continue with testing of SAE Levels 3 (conditional) and 4 (high) automated vehicles. Finally, testing of SAE Level 5 (full) automated vehicles on roads shared with non-automated vehicles. Initial testing phases can begin immediately. Later phases are contingent upon state regulations.

WHAT IS ATOS DOING ABOUT FEDERAL AND STATE POLICY?

Clearly, federal and state policy must authorize an environment for the testing and deployment of CAVs envisioned by the ATOS Labs consortium. The direction and timing of current regulatory efforts appear to be compatible with ATOS Labs timeline. Because the ATOS principals collectively represent all three levels of government, we may request any necessary designations or exemptions if our industry partners commit themselves to the consortium’s vision and goals.

ARE YOU WORKING WITH OTHER CITIES/REGIONS?

We are interested in collaborating with other cities/regions who share our commitment to open standards. The City of Sacramento is a member of the Smart Cities Collaborative, in addition to other national networks that encourage the sharing of best practices. ATOS is premised on the ability to replicate and scale our experience to other cities and regions globally.