Drive MN tour collects data, engages stakeholders on CAV readiness

In August, CTS led Drive MN, a four-day, more than 1,000-mile driving tour that brought connected and automated vehicles (CAVs) to communities across Minnesota.

Map of Minnesota with markers showing all eight Drive MN stops
Drive MN included stops in eight cities across the state.

A team of Drive MN partners—CTS, VSI Labs, Bolton & Menk, and project sponsor MnDOT—piloted two research CAVs to collect terabytes of data about the state’s roadway infrastructure. This data will be used to assess readiness for CAVs on many types of roadways, and the results will be published in a full report later this year.

The team made stops in eight communities:

  • St. Cloud
  • Duluth
  • Bemidji
  • Moorhead
  • Marshall
  • Mankato
  • Winona
  • Minneapolis

At each stop, transportation professionals, policymakers, and community representatives gathered to learn about CAV technology, its potential to improve the quality of life for Minnesotans, and how to prepare the state’s infrastructure for its widespread use. Attendees also heard real-time observations from the drive and got an up-close look at the two CAVs—CTS’s MnCAV Ecosystem Chrysler Pacifica and a research vehicle from VSI Labs.

The effort concluded at an event outside McNamara Alumni Center on the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus on August 18. CTS Executive Committee members, researchers, practitioners, and other interested attendees heard remarks from MnDOT Commissioner Nancy Daubenberger and learned some initial takeaways about the week’s data collection from the Drive MN team.

“We are glad to celebrate this important CAV tour with our partners,” said Kyle Shelton, CTS director. “The data collected during the drive is critical to making sure our evolving technology and infrastructure communicate effectively.”



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Michael McCarthy