Pittsburgh sets out principles for autonomous vehicle testing and development

Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto has issued an executive order outlining the city’s objectives and expectations for the safe testing of autonomous vehicles.

The executive order, called the ‘Pittsburgh Principles’, will require transparent lines of communication between the city and companies testing autonomous vehicles, as well as annual reports on the implementation of autonomous vehicle policies.

Five companies are currently developing autonomous driving systems in Pittsburgh – Aptiv, Argo AI, Aurora Innovation, Carnegie-Mellon University and Uber.

The city will also seek to promote automated driving systems that encourage high vehicle occupancy with lower or no emissions, and will engage industry leaders and local stakeholders to 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,” said Mayor Peduto. “This can only happen when industry, agencies and people understand one another and work together.”

The order designates the city’s Department of Mobility and Infrastructure (DOMI) to act as the principal point of contact, directing it to work with public agency partners, industry and other stakeholders to develop policy around autonomous vehicle technologies.

DOMI must also develop guidelines for autonomous vehicle testing and provide public reporting each year on progress in testing and policy development.

DOMI Director Karina Ricks, commenting as the city released its AV testing guidelines and submission process, said: “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.” 

The full executive order, ‘Self-Driving Vehicle Testing and Operations in the City of Pittsburgh’, can be found here.

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