BEVERLY HILLS—The U.S. Conference of Mayor’s unanimously adopted Beverly Hills’ autonomous vehicle resolution at the 84th annual USCM meeting on June 27 in Indianapolis, according to press release from the city of Beverly Hills.
“I was delighted that the other mayors overwhelmingly support the concept of autonomous vehicles as public transportation,” said Beverly Hills Mayor John Mirisch. “AVs could be a game changer for cities. They will provide solutions to perennial urban issues such as traffic congestion, parking and air pollution.”
The resolution called for legislative changes in the national, state and local levels to help support research and development of AVs for the use of both public and private transportation. Since AVS are reshaping how people use transportation the resolution noted a study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development that states fleets of AVS could remove up to 90 percent of cars on city streets and 80 percent of off street parking.
The USCM urged federal, state and local policymakers to integrate AV shuttles into their transportation systems and to create partnerships with the AV industry by establishing programs and prioritizing grants and regulatory regimes. They also called for Congress to adopt policies that encourage the development, testing and deployments of AVs.
The city of Beverly Hills has also proposed a Municipal Autonomous Shuttle System to address the “first and last mile” issues for people who want to use regional public transportation. It would also provide citywide on-demand, point to point transportation. MASS is planned to be discussed at the AV conference in Beverly Hills early next year.
Therese Kosterman, from the Beverly Hills Communications Office, told Canyon News, there are a lot of steps that need to happen to make MASS a reality. Things such as changing California highway laws to let AVs on the roads need to happen first, Kosterman informed Canyon News.
“As I envision it, our municipally owned and operated fleet of self-driving vehicles would function as a kind of citywide on-demand car pool/shuttle service, allowing residents and visitors to get from one part of town to another, including, of course, to and from the stations once they eventually open,” said Mirisch in an Op-Ed opinion piece he wrote that Kosterman directed Canyon News to.
“Pickup and drop-off locations could be from any address within the city and would be coordinated to maximize efficiency and reduce travel time; this hyperlocal system would operate entirely within the borders of Beverly Hills,” said Mirisch.