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Drone over a River

AV Proving Grounds

What is the definition of a proving ground?

1: a place for scientific experimentation or testing (as of vehicles or weapons)

2: a place where something is developed or tried out

The SoCal Tech bridge AV Proving ground is both of these things and more!


About the AV Proving Grounds

The SoCal Tech Bridge operational principles of Autonomous and transformative Logistics led to the establishment of the Autonomous Vehicle (AV) Proving Grounds in 2017 aboard MCAS Miramar. The AV Proving Grounds maintain the ideal parameters for a testing program: controlled environment, low speed operation, known population, and a singular regulatory authority. The scope and scale of the Proving Grounds confers the ability to operate on and in a wide variety of environments, including ground and air, urban and rural routes. This generated interest from commercial industry partners, such as key EMS partner, Qualcomm Technologies, to use the AV Proving Grounds to conduct ongoing, unparalleled testing aboard the base, and share developmental insights and market research with government, academic, and research partnerships.


Activities at the AV Proving Grounds provided valuable insight: 5G is an imperative for connected and autonomous vehicles. SoCal Tech Bridge's relationship with Verizon through smart city initiatives in the local San Diego area helped facilitate an eventual partnership with Verizon to bring 5G to MCAS Miramar, and to create the 5G Living Lab.    

The opportunities and lessons at the AV Proving Grounds continue, not least of these is that electric and autonomous vehicles are not only viable, reliable, and adaptable in the transportation of packages and people, but they are a viable energy resource and conduit in their own right, able to serve as mobile batteries in bi-directional charging stations within the microgrid. The Marine Corps’ intent is to parlay these game-changing contributions into lessons learned that shape its autonomous and electric vehicle programs. 

Timeline to Unlocking  Opportunity 2017-2021

Image by Josue Michel

  AV Proving Ground Projects  

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Futuristic Car


AV or Autonomous vehicles are able to perceive what is going on in their surroundings through various sensors, radar, cameras and AI learning can travel to different locations without the need for human piloting. Advanced control systems can interpret sensory information to detect obstacles and choose the most appropriate navigation path for the vehicle. Some of the common type of AV vehicles currently are delivery drones and self-driving cars.

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