Lincoln, US is preparing
Sixty years ago, just outside Lincoln, Nebraska on a 400-ft strip of Route 77, RCA (Radio Corporation of America) and the State of Nebraska conducted one of the first tests of an electronically-guided car using circuits buried under the highway. This test led to another demonstration in Princeton, New Jersey in 1960, which The New York Times reported as evidence that a new nationwide system for guiding cars on highways was just 15 years away.
In 2017, Lincoln (pop. 280,000) has enlisted the help of an engineering consultant, HDR Inc., to explore the feasibility of a driverless shuttle. According to the Lincoln Journal-Star, “the study will look at the latest technology, describe a potential pilot project, provide business models for future service, and look at insurance and necessary law changes” and identify best practices in other cities. The nearly $100,000 price tag for the feasibility study will be shouldered by Lincoln with hopes of attracting private funding or a public-private partnership to begin a pilot project in the downtown area. Results will also feed into the ongoing Green Light Lincoln Project, which is upgrading Lincoln’s traffic management system. The city expects to use the feasibility study as a tool to shape a more future-proof, AV-ready design for the new infrastructure.