Five metropolises will now be testing grounds for self-driving cars, thanks to a nationwide effort to prepare cities for autonomous vehicles.
The program, called the Bloomberg Aspen Initiative on Cities and Autonomous Vehicles, will find its home in five cities: Austin, Los Angeles, Nashville, Paris and Buenos Aires. Five more cities will be included and announced later this year.
These places will have access to data and coaching from urban planners and tech experts to help prepare for self-driving cars and utilize those cars to address city challenges.
Improving Lives and Drives
At the CityLab conference for mayors in Miami, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said, “The advent of autonomous cars is one of the most exciting developments ever to happen to cities — and if mayors collaborate with one another, and with partners in the private sector, they can improve people’s lives in ways we can only imagine today.”
Nashville, one of the selected cities, is already taking steps to embrace an autonomous driving future. Nashville Mayor Megan Barry said earlier this year that Tennessee’s Davidson County could become a testing ground for self-driving cars as part of a regional push for better transportation.
A key objective of the new initiative is to not only help cities develop transportation and policy best practices when gearing up for self-driving technology, but to also examine social and economic concerns. “Autonomous vehicles have the potential to complement the work cities are doing – so long as people, not cars, drive the agenda,” Bloomberg tweeted following the announcement.
A slew of self-driving cars and re-imagined cities…coming soon to a neighborhood near you.