Mayor Bowser establishes autonomous vehicle working group - Technical.ly DC

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Feb. 14, 2018 10:54 am

Mayor Bowser establishes autonomous vehicle working group

The city is also looking to partner with the Southwest Business Improvement District for a pilot zone near the Southwest Waterfront. Weigh in on the District's self-driving future.

A dog carefully observes a food delivery bot in Germany.

(Photo via Starship Technologies)

D.C. government is looking ahead on self-driving cars.  On Monday, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced the creation of the city’s Interagency AV Working Group to explore an autonomous vehicle pilot program to “help benefit District residents and visitors.”

“We will keep the District on the cutting edge of autonomous vehicles and do so in a way that benefits our residents,” said Mayor Bowser in a statement. “Washington, D.C. is a creative, tech-savvy city, and as we grow, we will always be exploring and investing in innovation and finding ways to make it more inclusive.”

The working group is made up of representatives from across multiple city agencies.

Additionally, the mayor’s office is also partnering with the District’s Southwest Business Improvement District to release a Request for Information for an autonomous vehicle pilot program on 10th Street, SW. The area sees approximately 4,300 cars daily, is adjacent to L’Enfant Plaza, and connects to the National Mall, the waterfront and Interstate 395.

“Washington’s southwest Waterfront is in the midst of a renaissance,” said Steve Moore, executive director of SWBID, in a statement. “The 10th Street SW corridor is currently the fastest way to get from the National Mall – which attracts 20 million annual visitors – to the District’s newest, world-class waterfront destination. Our hope is that AVs will enhance this conduit, act as catalyst for innovative mobility solutions across the District, and ultimately create an interconnected, sustainable community. This RFI is just the first step in what we hope will ultimately become a successful – and historic – pilot project.”

D.C. made an initial move into autonomous vehicles by signing off on a pilot to bring food delivery robots from Starship Technologies to the sidewalks. This is a sign the District is looking at more potential partnerships.

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