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Vanderbilt, Tennessee DOT Studying AVs on the Interstate

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A semi-truck on the highway

August 5, 2021—Vanderbilt University in conjunction with the Tennessee Department of Transportation will be conducting a "first-of-its-kind" autonomous vehicle traffic test on a section of interstate in Nashville.

The two institutions will place 300 high definition cameras atop 110-foot poles along a six-mile stretch of Interstate 24 to collect data on how AVs move through and affect the flow of traffic, according to News Channel 5 Nashville. Those 300 cameras will be in place by the end of 2022; as of right now, 18 are already in use for a 1500-foot stretch on I-24. 

"Human drivers are actually less consistent than autonomous vehicles are today," Vanderbilt engineer and researcher Dan Work said. "So, we can actually pick up the nuances of the way that you or I drive that are distinct from the way automated vehicles drive."

TDOT has received a $11.5 million grant from the Federal Highway Administration for the project, which Work called "the most comprehensive visual road study ever conducted. 

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