Most Big Cities Are Planning for Autonomous Vehicles
“More than half of the largest U.S. cities are preparing for autonomous vehicles in their long-range transportation plans—up from less than 10 percent three years ago, according to a new National League of Cities report. Between 2011 and 2017, 22 states passed 46 bills, and five governors signed executive orders related to AV development and use—most permitting pilots. A second wave is underway with 28 states introducing 98 bills in 2018, according to ‘Autonomous Vehicle Pilots Across America’. Pilot projects range from informal agreements to structured contracts between cities and AV companies.
‘Mayors are welcoming in that innovation and really trying to get an understanding of how these self-driving cars will interact with the urban environment in a particular place,’ Brooks Rainwater, senior executive and director of NLC’s Center for City Solutions, told Route Fifty. Transportation officials and automakers have both pressed Congress to codify a federal framework for testing and operating AVs, but no timetable exists for what seems like a nonpartisan issue. In the meantime, states and localities have shown few signs of slowing down on their own regulations. ‘I think that we’re in a place where [federal rules] can be rolled out with existing regulations and legislation on the books,’ Rainwater said. ‘Final rules of the road will help the industry long term, but I don’t see what’s been playing out as a true impediment.’”