The city of Peachtree Corners revealed Wednesday its plans to create a $2 million autonomous vehicle test track on Technology Parkway. Officials hope it will serve as an economic development tool. This is a rendering provided by the city of what the track could look like. (Credit: City of Peachtree Corners)
Peachtree Corners is Gwinnett's most populous city and also its newest. The area has been officially incorporated only since 2012, but its roots in the technology sector go back decades.
A businessman named Paul Duke first dreamed up a planned community called Peachtree Corners in the late 1960s. The idea was to create a district that specifically targeted technology industries and their well-educated, well-paid employees, sort of a predecessor to the live-work-play communities.
Technology Park Atlanta was born, with initial tenants like General Electric and Scientific Atlanta. Subdivisions and shopping centers followed.
Since the city was incorporated, officials have worked hard to reverse a vacancy rate that had piled up in previous years. They see the so-called “autonomous vehicle test track” as the next step, and Mayor Mike Mason said they’ve already drawn interest from start-ups and other businesses.
The city of Peachtree Corners revealed Wednesday its plans to create a $2 million autonomous vehicle test track on Technology Parkway. Officials hope it will serve as an economic development tool. (Credit: City of Peachtree Corners)
Prototype Prime will be launching an “advanced vehicle accelerator” to help foster collaboration on the project and help bring in potential partners.
The city has billed its plans as unlike anything outside the Perimeter. Inside of it, the city of Atlanta unveiled something similar last fall — a roughly two-mile stretch of North Avenue with adaptive traffic signals and other technology. Autonomous vehicles haven't been added yet.
Peachtree Corners hopes to have its shuttle up and running in about a year. A contractor has not yet been chosen to provide the vehicle.
“What we really want,” Mason said, “is companies to come here, to start their businesses, pay business license fees, move their families here, for them to buy houses, when the millennials grow up they start families, and the cycle begins.”
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County leaders said it will all probably come down to money.