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Developer Hopes To Build Driverless Car Testing Facility At Fort Monmouth

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OCEANPORT: A developer is hoping to use Fort Monmouth as a site to test driverless car technology.

The Center for Automated Road Transportation Safety (CARTS) announced it is now a non-profit (501(c) (6)) New Jersey Corporation and is pursuing the purchase of land in the Oceanport area of the fort for its facility.

"The mission of this Center is to substantially improve safety on our existing conventional roadway infrastructure through the use of inexpensive automated collision avoidance systems installed on individual vehicles operating harmoniously with conventional vehicles throughout most, if not all, existing roadways," a CARTS release states. "The achievement of the Center's mission will be through the use of automated collision avoidance technologies that fundamentally go beyond crash mitigation, the principal conventional focus of highway safety, to crash avoidance."

The release states that the developer would occupy office and garage space in Fort Monmouth's 25-acre McAfee Center Complex and develop secured testing facilities in an 80-acre site east of Oceanport Avenue.

However, the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority (FMERA) states that nothing has been finalized as of last week.

"Consistent with the Fort Monmouth Reuse and Redevelopment Plan, FMERA hopes to grow a technology cluster at the Fort," said Rachel Goemaat, spokesperson for the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, which oversees FMERA. "FMERA has identified the McAfee Center Complex, which is composed of roughly 50 acres and five state-of-the-art buildings, as the potential location for a hub."

Goemaat said the sale of property "must go through a competitive process" and that a request for offers to purchase the parcel has not yet been issued by FMERA.

FMERA has been negotiating with the Army to gain control of the Phase 2 area under a Economic Development Conveyance (EDC) for months, and the exact timeline for when an agreement will be reached is not clear. The agreement would allow FMERA to market and lease or sell specific Main Post facilities at the fort.

Phase 2 includes all of the land on the fort from the main gate on Route 35 in Eatontown, to its easternmost border in Oceanport.

Phase 1 of the EDC was transferred from the Army to FMERA in 2012 and includes all the Fort Monmouth property in Tinton Falls and the Eatontown portion of the Fort west of Route 35 including the Howard Commons area and Suneagles Golf Course.

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