BEVERLY HILLS—Beverly Hills has become the first city in the United States to join the Center for Automotive Research at Stanford as part of the city of Beverly Hills Autonomous Vehicle Program, according to a press release from the city of Beverly Hills. The membership was approved by the Beverly Hills City Council and CARS.

“With the increased presence of automation in transportation and the adoption of new mobility models, communication between the public sector and the research community is ever more important,” said Stephen M. Zoepf, Ph.D., Executive Director of CARS. “We’re excited to have the City of Beverly Hills as part of the conversation at the Center for Automotive Research at Stanford.”

The partnering with CARS is the last step in the city of Beverly Hills’ plan to provide the community with safe and convenient transportation options that use the latest technology. CARS is the home of the Stanford Solar Project where every two years a team of students participate in a competition to drive solar cars across the Australian Outback. The areas of research that CARS is a part of are understanding how people will interact with AVs, the impact of car automation on policy, ethics and laws, and the advances in sensing, decision-making and control.

Phase one of the Beverly Hills AV Program is to develop partnerships with manufacturers and work with policymakers on changing the regulatory environment to allow for the testing and development of systems for public and privately owned AVS. The city of Beverly Hills has proposed the Municipal Autonomous Shuttle System which will address the first and last mile issues for community members who want to use regional public transportation, and provide citywide, on-demand, point to point transportation.

Canyon News has previously reported on the proposal of MASS and noting the many steps for MASS to become a reality. First would be for California highway laws to change to allow AVs on the road.

“Joining CARS signals our commitment to the future of mobility,” said Beverly Hills Mayor John Mirisch. “As we develop our autonomous vehicle (AV) program, we will have access to the brightest minds and the latest research in urban mobility, which will ensure that the safest, most reliable selfdriving vehicles are operating on Beverly Hills roadways.”

For more information on the Autonomous Vehicle Program and partnership with CARS, contact the Beverly Hills Information Technology at (310) 285-2590.