Washington, DC, US is piloting AVs
March 2017 saw the launch of the world’s largest urban AV freight pilot, with up to a dozen conveyors (small, self-driving electric cargo carts) providing last-mile deliveries between local businesses and residential customers in a partnership with delivery aggregator Postmates. City officials see an opportunity to reduce traffic congestion and enable new services that benefit residents and businesses. There might also be a future boost to small businesses, with Postmates projecting long-term reductions in delivery costs of up to 90 percent. Automated delivery tests under the city’s Personal Delivery Device Pilot Program are restricted to a 50-pound vehicle weight cap, and a 10 mph speed limit. With nine cameras on each vehicle, a major goal of the pilot is the production of an ultra-precise map of the capital’s pedestrian landscape.