Posted by STEER On March 17, 2020
Monday, March 2nd, 2020 (Columbia, MD) – Innovative visionary Howard County Executive, Calvin Ball, announced STEER Tech will be awarded a grant to retrofit several county government fleet vehicles with their driverless technology. Through a recently announced Innovation Fund that was enacted by County Executive Calvin Ball as an effort to drive developments that will improve the county, Howard County will become the first government to adopt autonomous vehicle technology on non-OEM owned vehicles.
STEER Tech’s approach is impressive in that they have created a product that can be retrofitted onto a wide variety of vehicles. Their inclusion of safety and law enforcement stakeholders at all stages has built trust in their system. STEER’s premium feature, the “Valet” mode, enables users to drop themselves off at their destination and send their vehicle to park nearby via an app. When users are done, they can summon the vehicle back to them and their vehicle will safely navigate the parking lot and arrive at the pick-up zone. STEER also has a host of features like the “Pull Out” mode which enables users to pull their car in or out of a tight space using their phone, garage automation, and autonomous refueling which will allow convenient refueling and improved sustainability goals for the fleet.
The integration of STEER into government vehicles is the first-ever application of autonomous driving technology on a government fleet. Adding STEER to county fleet vehicles increases productivity and safety without causing any job loss. Operators using STEER-enabled vehicles will save precious time that was previously spent searching for parking and walking through the lots at each and every site. Over time the savings add up significantly. “When they arrive at sites, their focus will only be on the job,” said Howard County Executive Calvin Ball. “We are looking at a highly optimized fleet and smartly using our resources to serve the residents faster, better, and cheaper”. STEER’s low-speed application ensures safer parking lots by eliminating the stress and anxiety and by using a robust sensor suite to detect pedestrians, vehicles, and other obstacles.
“The Howard County government fleet is an exciting addition to STEER Tech’s customer base,” said STEER CEO, Dr. Anuja Sonalker. “The willingness to adopt new technologies that foster innovation for the public good show why Maryland, and particularly Howard County, is quickly emerging as a hotspot for autonomous technologies and smart growth.”