City of Boston Launches Urban Mobility Program, Prepares to Test Driverless Cars

September 16, 2016

Boston, Mass., Mayor Martin J. Walsh, the Boston Transportation Department and the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics, in partnership with the World Economic Forum, announced the launch of a new program to explore autonomous technologies within the City of Boston.

The collaboration will include a year-long engagement focused on creating policy recommendations and supporting on-street testing of autonomous vehicles, also known as self-driving vehicles, to advance the safety, access and sustainability goals identified by the public during the Go Boston 2030 transportation planning process.

“Boston’s collaboration with the World Economic Forum represents our commitment to creating a safe, reliable and equitable mobility plan for Boston’s residents. We are focused on the future of our city and how we safely move people around while providing them with reliable mobility choices,” said Mayor Walsh in a press release issued by the Mayor’s Office announcing the program’s launch.

Boston was selected as the lead partner city for the World Economic Forum’s City Challenge, an initiative designed to support cities in their efforts to prepare for the future of urban mobility. With the help of the Forum and its partner, The Boston Consulting Group, the City of Boston will develop a strategy for new mobility, including autonomous driving, and develop a framework for the testing of autonomous vehicles on city streets.

During the next year, City of Boston and Commonwealth of Massachusetts leaders will work with the World Economic Forum, The Boston Consulting Group, international cities and mobility industry leaders on developing policy goals and autonomous vehicle testing scenarios for Boston. The collaboration kicked off in July with an advisory group meeting in Boston led by Mayor Walsh focused on exploring autonomous shared vehicle technology and will continue with a series of targeted focus groups.

This work with Boston builds on prior World Economic Forum research into Personal Mobility and Self-Driving Vehicles, conducted in 2015 in partnership with The Boston Consulting Group, and the Future of Cities. The results show that improving affordable transportation options could be a strong factor contributing to individuals escaping poverty. Additionally, results indicate that autonomous vehicles, when shared, have the potential to take 60-70% of cars off the road. Because this could reduce crashes due to human error, it is projected that autonomous vehicles could reduce road fatalities by up to 90%. Since autonomous vehicles would likely be electric, the City of Boston expects to reduce emissions from vehicles by 2-4% over time.

Source: Boston Mayor’s Office

Was this article valuable?

Here are more articles you may enjoy.