Minnesota Department of Transportation

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MnROAD

Collaborations and Partnerships

Collaboration

MnROAD can help you with your research project

MnROAD, owned and operated by the Minnesota Department of Transportation, is funded through a combination of industry, local, state, federal and international sources. Additionally, many other states participate in pooled studies. Collaborating on research is critical to the ongoing success of MnROAD. It is necessary from a funding perspective, but also ensures that we are addressing the most important issues. There are many ways to become involved in MnROAD:

If you would like more information about partnering with MnROAD, contact Ben Worel at 651-366-5522.

Pavement Research

NRRA: National Road Research Alliance

The Minnesota Department of Transportation started and administrates a federal pooled fund with agencies from 9 other states and nearly 50 associate members called the National Road Research Alliance. The MnROAD facility acts as a primary real-world laboratory for much of their research, helping inform best practices in the areas of asphalt, concrete, geotechnical, and preventive maintenance.

NCAT

Recently, MnROAD embarked on a partnership with the nation's other largest pavement testing center, the National Center for Asphalt Technologies in Auburn, Alabama. The two agencies will coordinate experiments and combine resources to provide cost-effective solutions for pavement performance in both northern and southern climates.

Non-Pavement Research

MnDOT's Connected and Automated Vehicles Office

The Office of Connected and Automated Vehicles (CAV-X) is a partner to coordinate industry contacts in testing CAVs on secure roads in winter weather conditions. Minnesota offers the use of MnROAD to the CAV industry for all-weather testing and to research pavement impacts and mitigations associated with use of CAV technology.

Operators interested in testing Autonomous or Connected Vehicle technology should contact Kevin Chan at kevin.chan@state.mn.us with the CAV-X Office.

Overview of testing opportunities for connected and automated vehicles in Minnesota

What MnROAD can offer for connected and autonomous vehicle testing
  • Extreme weather – All-weather environment under extreme temperatures, visibility and road conditions. Snow making is available.
  • Public & private testing – A 2.5 mile closed loop (low speed) and 3.5 mile section of Interstate 94 (high speed) that can be closed to other traffic.
  • Storage – Secured garage facilities for storing vehicles.
  • Private & secured facility – Controlled access to track facility for testing with other vehicles as needed.
  • Meeting space – Conference facilities for meetings and communications with staff.
  • Partnerships – Facilitate discussions and partnerships through MnDOT’s leadership roles in AASHTO, CAT Coalition, pooled fund studies, and international partnerships. MnDOT outlined MnROAD opportunities for vehicle testing in a 2016 Proposal.
Partners

We have already partnered with a number of organizations around the country to do testing at MnROAD: 3M, EasyMile, First Transit, Honeywell, Kratos, Plus.AI, and University of Minnesota.

Level 4 Plus.AI Vehicle at MnROAD.

Level 4 Plus.AI Vehicle

Minnesota DNR

The DNR conducts their own studies of environmental conditions around MnROAD for safe and easy access.