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San Diego To Partner With Ford And Qualcomm To Test Driverless Cars

A group of self-driving Uber vehicles, Monday, Sept. 12, 2016.

Credit: Associated Press

Above: A group of self-driving Uber vehicles, Monday, Sept. 12, 2016.

Qualcomm, along with other tech firms and Ford Motor Company, will be testing their driverless car technology in San Diego County.

The U.S. Department of Transportation named San Diego County this year as one of ten proving grounds in the country for driverless vehicles, with road tests to take place on the streets of Chula Vista.

Now Qualcomm, Ford, Nokia, AT&T and San Diego-based McCain say they will deploy their wireless, computing and automotive technology here.

Chula Vista city engineer Bill Valle said Qualcomm expressed their interest in testing driverless technology, virtually as soon as San Diego County was named a proving ground.

RELATED: San Diego’s Driverless Car Tests Get People Thinking

"I think they're just one of what we will hopefully see as many different affiliates that would want to come and test their emerging technologies here in Chula Vista," Valle said.

Valle says Qualcomm has already done a series of experiments in Chula Vista, to test its wireless communication.

"That was to evaluate the communications vehicle to vehicle, not vehicle to infrastructure. But even though the proving ground doesn't begin until January, Qualcomm's already begun to do some testing," he said.

Early next year, UC San Diego is expected to start testing driverless vehicles on campus, at first to deliver the mail. Driverless technology is developing so quickly that robotics experts at UCSD expect driverless cars to dominate America's roads within 15 years.

Qualcomm, along with other tech firms and Ford Motor Company, will be testing their driverless car technology in San Diego County.

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