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RIDOT seeks proposals for self-driving cars, other next-gen transportation

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Got an idea for autonomous vehicles? RIDOT wants to hear from you.

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation said Thursday it’s issued a “request for information” to companies that have expertise in transport technology, including “connected and autonomous vehicles” (CAV). The agency wants to figure out how self-driving cars can go to work for state government interests.

Putting out the call with that official request starts the ball rolling, said RIDOT Director Peter Alviti, to identify what kind of challenges there are in creating the next generation of transportation systems. Companies can submit proposals for simple transporters, as well as for programs like inter-suburb transportation or on-demand ride-sharing.

Proposals, ahead of a proof-of-concept pilot service or carrier, are due to RIDOT July 12. After receiving submissions, participants will be brought in for an “Expo” to share ideas and plan.

Gov. Gina Raimondo said in a RIDOT statement that Rhode Island has long embraced emerging technologies — and “by embracing innovation in transportation, we are positioning Rhode Island to be a leader — and we will create jobs.”

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