Pittsburgh, US is piloting AVs
Pittsburgh is home to one of the world’s oldest hubs of research on self-driving vehicles at Carnegie Mellon University, as well as its newest: ride-sourcing giant Uber’s Advanced Technologies Group Center. Beginning in September 2016, Uber began tests with a fleet of 4 Volvo SUVs prowling the city’s downtown, Strip District, Uptown, Oakland, and Southside neighborhoods, with the intent to eventually outfit a fleet of 100. Despite technical success, a mutually cooperative relationship between the City and Uber never formed, making it a ‘cautionary tale’ as reported by The New York Times in May 2017. Meanwhile, the city has continued to attract investment from a wide range of automakers and their partners, including GM, Delphi, Audi, and BMW, who are conducting limited Level 3 AV trials on city streets under current state motor vehicle regulations.
What have Pittsburgh’s leaders learned? According to our survey, city officials highlight the need for formulating pilots around city objectives, data sharing, regular check-ins with companies, and tight coordination with state regulators. As it moves forward, Pittsburgh has prioritized the knot of opportunities and challenges surrounding AVs and parking - which could allow broader reclamation of space on the city’s usually narrow historic streets, but also call into question future flow of parking fees which generate a staggering 15 percent of city revenues.