Austin Chosen for Autonomous Vehicle Initiative

Self-driving cars have quickly moved from futuristic possibility to reality, and many cities are wondering how transportation infrastructure will need to adapt as this new technology hits the streets.3646376308_c74ddf5700_b

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is hoping to help answer that question. Last week he announced that five cities will be testing grounds and participants in a new initiative – and Austin is one of the cities on that list. Other test cities include Nashville, Los Angeles, Paris, and Buenos Aires.

The details about what that means are still scant, but Mayor Steve Adler’s office says the City will work with the Bloomberg initiative, initially sharing Austin’s experiences and what we’ve learned with other cities. As the list of cities expands, we’ll be able to draw from the experience of other cities to build on what we have going on here, says Jason Stanford, the Mayor’s Communications Director. “This should accelerate the learning curve on how regulation catches up to this new and evolving technology,” Stanford said.

During a recent TV appearance, Adler pointed out that Austin’s reputation as an innovative city is bringing a host of tech-heavy mobility solutions to the city. San Francisco-based Chariot recently announced that in partnership with Movability Austin, the City of Austin, Capital Metro and the Rocky Mountain Institute, it will be rolling out shuttle service for employees at Market District companies. Chariot is also going to offer general service in greater Austin.

“Austin is an innovative, creative place,” Adler said. “We have a challenge with mobility in this city, and we need to bring everything to bear.”

image via Creative Commons

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