Sen. Mark Warner visits research center at VIR

By Colter Anstaett - Southside Bureau Reporter

ALTON (WSLS 10) - U.S. Senator Mark Warner got a better understanding Tuesday about how a Southside research center is helping shape the future of the vehicles we drive.

Sen. Warner took a ride in a semi-autonomous Tesla sedan at the Global Center for Automotive Performance Simulation at Virginia International Raceway.

The center is led by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute and conducts tire research, vehicle simulations and helps create virtual vehicle designs.

"I think what we're looking at here between GCAPS, Virginia Tech, and VIR is actually the future of driving," Sen. Warner stated after completing his lap around VIR in the Tesla.

He said he has ridden in a semi-autonomous vehicle on the beltway in northern Virginia and in a Google car out in California and wanted to come to VIR to see where some of the testing that is done for those types of vehicles is conducted.

He equated the work being done at VIR to Henry Ford's work with the automobile in the early 20th century.

"What Henry Ford did in the 1920s is in ways being recreated in the 21st century right here in Halifax, Virginia," Sen. Warner explained.

Sen. Warner also visited Mid-Atlantic Broadband Cooperative in South Boston to talk about expanding broadband internet service in Southside.

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