Mayor issues policies aimed at autonomous vehicle testing
March 12, 2019
Mayor William Peduto has issued an Executive Order outlining city objectives and expectations for the safe testing of autonomous vehicles in Pittsburgh, and assigning responsibilities for the development of transparent and constructive reporting guidelines for the growing technology sector.
All five of the prominent entities currently developing autonomous driving systems in the city were on hand for the signing of the order.
Called the “Pittsburgh Principles,” the order is the first of its kind to be issued by any city worldwide and is a further model of the Pittsburgh’s longtime leadership in the technology, and of the city’s focus on providing safe and inclusive transportation opportunities for all residents.
The Principles include:
• Instituting transparent lines of communication between the city and partners testing autonomous vehicles, and annual reports on the implementation of AV policies
• Promoting automated driving systems that encourage high vehicle occupancy with lower or no emissions, and lower cost and equitable transportation options
• Engaging industry leaders and community stakeholders to collaboratively facilitate the further development and deployment of self-driving technology
“Autonomous vehicle technology has the potential to dramatically improve safety on our city streets and yield transformative benefits to equitable access and quality of life for all in our city. This can only happen when industry, agencies and people understand one another and work together,” Mayor Peduto said.
“My hope is that this Executive Order will not only provide the necessary platform and process to do that for our city, but serve as a model for cities and places across the globe.”
The Executive Order designates the Department of Mobility and Infrastructure (DOMI) as the principal point of contact and directs the department to collaborate with public agency partners, private sector industry, and general public stakeholders in developing policy around this emergent technology.
The order further instructs the department to develop guidelines for testing and to report back to the public at least annually on progress in testing and policy development.
In concurrently releasing the testing guidelines and submission process, Karina Ricks, director of the Department of Mobility and Infrastructure stated, “These guidelines provide a framework for sharing information relevant to policymaking and building the public trust, which is essential to the success of self-driving development and its ultimate deployment in ways that strengthen our cities and communities.”
Raj Rajkumar, professor and co-director of the General Motors-Carnegie Mellon Vehicular Information Technology Collaborative Research Lab, said “This Order and the guidelines help to protect the public while enabling this technology born in Pittsburgh 35 years ago to be tested and matured right here – attracting jobs, opportunities and talent to the City.”
The five entities currently developing autonomous driving systems in Pittsburgh are: Aptiv, Argo AI, Aurora Innovation, Carnegie-Mellon University and Uber.