Autonomous Vehicle Testing Begins

The Gainesville Sun, February 3, 2020

A long-awaited pilot project launched Monday in Gainesville — but this time there is no pilot. The University of Florida and the Florida Department of Transportation have partnered to bring the first autonomous vehicle to the city of Gainesville. Community members were invited to a Monday morning ribbon-cutting ceremony and an inaugural test ride of the shuttle, running between the Southwest Third Street parking garage to Innovation Square near Southwest Second Avenue.

Read More in The Gainesville Sun.

House, Senate Approve Autonomous Vehicles Bills


 Join Autonomous Florida     Watch TUV SUD America


On March 20, the Florida House and Senate approved bills from committees regarding autonomous vehicles. The Senate Committee on Infrastructure and Security approved SB 932 unanimously, which further strengthens Florida’s pro-autonomous regulatory climate.

A similar bill in the House Transportation and Tourism Appropriations Subcommittee was also approved unanimously. HB 311 will prioritize passenger and pedestrian safety while fostering innovation, and while also creating more regulatory certainty for the technologies that connected vehicles will use on Florida roads.

Thank you to Senator Jeff Brandes and Representative Jason Fischer for sponsoring these bills and working to unify the business community’s voice to ensure that Florida becomes the autonomous vehicle capital of North America.

Join Autonomous Florida

Florida is nationally known for its welcoming approach to autonomous vehicles. Our pro-business climate is second to none. Join Autonomous Florida to be on the cutting edge of this innovative revolution.

Florida Chamber Bottom Line: TÜV SÜD Is at the Forefront of Technological Advances


Autonomous Florida


“Our mission is to enable the safe adoption of technology”

In the latest Florida Chamber Bottom Line, we sat down with John Tesoro, President and CEO of TÜV SÜD America, Inc. to discuss TÜV SÜD’s laboratories, autonomous vehicles and what the adoption of future advancements mean for Florida’s businesses.

“Our mission is to enable the safe adoption of technology,” said Tesoro. “So, we have over 25,000 experts globally, 1,500 of whom are here in the United States… many of them are housed in our laboratories, in fact we have 19 labs in North and South America and one of those labs is in Tampa, Florida.”


Join the Autonomous Revolution

With its favorable regulatory climate and more than 126 million annual visitors, Florida is uniquely prepared to be at the cutting edge of the autonomous revolution. The Florida Chamber of Commerce’s Autonomous Florida program brings together businesses, industry experts, and policymakers to secure Florida’s autonomous future. Click here to learn more.

Florida Is Embracing the Future of Autonomy

With our strong growth and attractive business climate, Florida needs to plan for tomorrow’s future today. By 2030, the Florida Chamber Foundation estimates that Florida will have another five million new people that call our state home, three million new drivers on our roadways, and tens of millions of new devices that will plug into our data network. As these technologies grow in number and complexity, the amount of data each individual uses will also increase dramatically.

In addition to the forces that we are familiar with, Florida is leading the charge on the adoption of autonomous vehicles. The Florida Chamber of Commerce has boldly declared their intent to make Florida the autonomous capital of the world. With our good laws on the books and openness to innovation, Florida has already welcomed six self-driving vehicle deployments across the state in places like Miami, Gainesville, Babcock Ranch, and the Villages. These new and transformational technologies have the potential to save thousands of lives and safely transport millions of goods and services, while unlocking incredible job opportunities for Floridians. But each of these vehicles will also create and use a tremendous amount of data.

Fortunately, private-sector businesses have created a solution: compact devices with incredible data capacity over a smaller range called “small cells.” These devices, working as a system, are the next generation of communications infrastructure. Companies in Florida are already installing small cells, but this 5G deployment is not happening fast enough to ensure Florida is able to cement its position as a global leader.

Simply put, in order for Florida to remain a leader in autonomous vehicles, smart devices, and the next generation of jobs, we must continue to push for the deployment of 5G across Florida. To make that happen, network carriers, infrastructure builders and local leaders must partner together to bring 5G to Florida.

Earlier this month, business leaders, industry experts and elected officials gathered for the Florida Chamber Foundation’s 2018 Florida Growth & Infrastructure Summit, where Florida’s future infrastructure needs and solutions were discussed. Leaders took a deep dive into the role innovation plays in Florida’s future. In partnership with the Society of Automotive Engineers, the summit also offered experiences to the public to take a drive in an autonomous vehicle and interact with the next generation of virtual reality.

In order for Florida to embrace these new technologies and future growth, we must build the digital highways of the future. That starts with more small cells.


Chris Emmanuel, Director of Infrastructure and Governance Policy, Florida Chamber of Commerce

Malcolm Eve is Crown Castle’s Public Affairs Manager for the South Area and serves on the Florida Chamber of Commerce (Infrastructure Coalition-Chair of the Economic Prosperity Work Group).  Crown Castle owns, operates and leases more than 40,000 cell towers and approximately 65,000 route miles of fiber supporting small cells and fiber solutions across every major US market. This nationwide portfolio of communications infrastructure connects cities and communities to essential data, technology and wireless service – bringing information, ideas and innovations to the people and businesses that need them.


Preparing Florida’s Infrastructure for Smart Growth and Development

Think about it. Florida is already the third largest state in America and we’re growing by over 1,000 new residents every day. We have 21 million residents and we’ll grow by five million more by 2030. By then, we’ll have three million more drivers on our roads, 50 million more visitors and we’ll need 20 percent more water. The good news is that Florida’s business leaders have a plan and it’s getting traction. This is good for Florida, good for job creation and it’s a great way to Secure Florida’s Future.

While we’re growing, Florida is also becoming more diverse. Aging Baby Boomers will continue to swell Florida’s elder population and at the same time, the Millennial and GenX generations are growing as a share of Florida’s total population. As Florida’s population changes, it is important that our infrastructure systems respond to their changing needs. Creating long-term investments in Florida’s transportation, energy, water, telecommunications and agriculture infrastructure is essential. Our infrastructure needs to support growing demand as well as a wide range of options – from sustainable water solutions to autonomous transportation systems.

The Florida Chamber Foundation’s Florida 2030 research outlines where Florida needs to be by 2030 to remain globally competitive. To secure Florida’s future, we must consider the water and energy needs for nearly five million more residents, be ready for the hard and soft infrastructure needs like broader telecommunications, improved roadways and railways, air, space and sea ports, ensure Floridians can connect to job opportunities, education, healthcare options, each other and the world, as well as support continued economic growth while preserving Florida’s essential environment and community assets.


How Do We Make Sure Florida Is Prepared for Smarter Growth?

The Florida Chamber’s Infrastructure Coalition, chaired by former Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Ananth Prasad, is focused on creating long-term investments in Florida’s energy, water, transportation, telecommunications, and agriculture infrastructure. With Washington, D.C.’s likely focus on infrastructure, the Florida Chamber’s Infrastructure Coalition aims to maximize Florida’s economic growth opportunities. And, here at the state level, double down on efforts to prepare for Florida’s growing population through infrastructure investments. As part of the Florida Chamber’s continuing efforts, we are working closely with state leaders like Senate President Bill Galvano to enact smarter growth policies that meet Florida’s long-term needs and will, this week, present recommendations the Florida Chamber’s Infrastructure Coalition has prepared for Florida’s elected officials to consider.

The Florida Chamber understands the importance innovation and technology play in Florida’s future- specifically as they relate to Florida’s infrastructure future. Florida 2030 research estimates that by 2030, more than 25 percent of all miles driven (including freight) could be by autonomous vehicles. With guidance and leadership from state leaders like Senator Jeff Brandes, Syd Kitson of Babcock Ranch and Grayson Brulte of Brulte & Company, the Florida Chamber created Autonomous Florida, a statewide initiative that works to ensure Florida continues leading the way in autonomous transportation. Our vision? To make Florida the autonomous capital of “all things autonomous” in North America.

I believe Florida will continue to grow and we can remain competitive if we plan better for the next five million residents than we did for the last five million.


This week, leaders from around Florida and the nation will gather at American’s first solar powered town, Babcock Ranch for the Florida Chamber Foundation’s 2018 Growth & Infrastructure Summit, to discuss the future of Florida’s transportation and infrastructure systems, as well as outline the strategies needed to grow smarter. Governor-elect DeSantis, Senate President Galvano and House Speaker Oliva have all signaled an interest in keeping innovation and infrastructure at the core of Florida’s economic development future. This is great news as we fight to Secure Florida’s Future.

December 10, 2018

Are Florida’s Infrastructure Systems Ready for 2030?




Join Statewide Leaders at Florida’s Growth & Infrastructure Summit Register Today

How will Florida handle the increase in population that is expected by 2030 and how do we prepare for this growth? Join business and industry leaders from around Florida at the Growth and Infrastructure Summit to discuss these issues and more:

  • Florida’s transportation opportunities,
  • The future of Florida’s Trade & Logistics 2.0 report,
  • Florida Chamber’s Infrastructure Coalition,
  • Autonomous Florida, and
  • Florida’s current and future infrastructure needs.

Florida Chamber Foundation 2018 Growth & Infrastructure Summit
December 11, 2018, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Healthy Life Center at Babcock Ranch
42880 Crescent Loop, Suite 100
Babcock Ranch, FL 33982

Attendees will also take a deeper dive into the Infrastructure and Growth Leadership portion of Florida 2030, the Florida Chamber Foundation’s three-year, multi-million dollar research project- and learn what more than 10,000 Florida leaders said about Florida’s future.

Florida Chamber’s Autonomous Florida Leading the Way – Autonomous Technology Demo Day


Autonomous Florida


The Florida Chamber’s Autonomous Florida in partnership with the Society of American Engineers, the Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority, Senator Jeff Brandes and numerous Tampa area partners, recently staged an autonomous technology demonstration day in the heart of Tampa.

Throughout the week, hundreds of members of the public were able to experience a ride in a self-driving car for the very first time. The Florida Chamber’s Autonomous Florida is thrilled to partner with business leaders to bring these types of forward-thinking events to Florida.

The Florida Chamber’s Autonomous Florida program has been featured in a series of opinion pieces throughout the state:

Get Involved

For more information on Autonomous Florida, click here or contact Christopher Emmanuel at (850) 521-1242 or

Florida Chamber of Commerce Unveils ‘Autonomous Florida’

Connecting Business Advocates to Make Florida the Autonomous Capital of North America

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (April 27, 2018) – The Florida Chamber of Commerce today announced a new chapter in Florida’s leadership in autonomous vehicles: Autonomous Florida. This innovative program will build on the business community’s successes to position Florida as the state to research, deploy, and grow the next chapter of transportation mobility.


“Florida is nationally known for its welcoming approach to autonomous vehicles, and uniquely positioned to be the leader in autonomous transportation. The Florida Chamber’s Autonomous Florida program will seize that opportunity and help ensure Florida continues to set the pace for autonomous deployment,” said MARK WILSON, President and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce.


Chaired by Syd Kitson, CEO of Kitson & Partners and the visionary behind the automated community of Babcock Ranch (in partnership with Transdev), the Florida Chamber launched its Autonomous Florida program this week during a statewide meeting featuring:

  • Senator Jeff Brandes
  • Grayson Brulte, President and Co-Founder, Brulte & Company
  • Christopher Spencer, Government Consultant, GrayRobinson
  • Rob Palmer, Planning/Mobility Leader, RS&H, Inc.


“It’s an incredibly exciting time in transportation, and the Florida Chamber’s Autonomous Florida program will be the tip of the spear, uniting Florida’s businesses behind this transformational opportunity,” KITSON said.


Autonomous Florida will help educate Floridians about the autonomous revolution — providing a range of learning opportunities including vehicle demonstrations. The first demo day will take place May 8-11 in Tampa, and is hosted in corporation with Society of Automative Engineers International, and in partnership with industry leaders and local government.

Additionally, Autonomous Florida will actively support efforts to ensure Florida’s regulatory climate provides a business-friendly environment for autonomous deployment.


“As we prepare Florida for the future, Florida’s businesses must be united. These new technologies have the potential to save thousands of lives, safely transport millions of goods and services, and unlock incredible opportunities for state,” said CHRISTOPHER EMMANUEL, a Florida Chamber Policy Director, who will serve as the Director of Autonomous Florida.

Learn more about the Florida Chamber’s Autonomous Florida program by visiting




Established in 1916 as Florida’s first statewide business advocacy organization, the Florida Chamber of Commerce is the voice of business and the state’s largest federation of employers, chambers of commerce and associations aggressively representing small and large businesses from every industry and every region. The Florida Chamber works within all branches of government to affect those changes set forth in the annual Florida Business Agenda, and which are seen as crucial to secure Florida’s future. The Florida Chamber works closely with its Florida Political Operations and the Florida Chamber Foundation. Visit for more information. 136 South Bronough Street, Tallahassee, FL 32301