Washington DC establishes working group on autonomous vehicles

The Mayor of Washington, DC this week announced the creation of an autonomous vehicle (AV) working group to prepare the District for AV technologies. The city’s plans to explore an autonomous vehicle programme also aim to ensure that any AV deployment benefits the District’s residents and visitors.

“We will keep the District on the cutting edge of autonomous vehicles and do so in a way that benefits our residents,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser. 

The working group comprises agencies focused on transportation, disability rights, environmental issues and public safety.

The Mayor also announced that the city administration is partnering with the Southwest Business Improvement District (SWBID) to release a Request for Information for an autonomous vehicle pilot project along the city’s 10th Street, SW. Officials believe that the street adjacent to L’Enfant Plaza is an ideal candidate for a ‘first-mile, last-mile’ autonomous vehicle pilot zone.

“The 10th Street SW corridor is currently the fastest way to get from the National Mall – which attracts 20 million annual visitors – to the District’s newest, world-class waterfront destination,” said Steve Moore, executive director of SWBID. 

“Our hope is that AVs will enhance this conduit, act as catalyst for innovative mobility solutions across the District, and ultimately create an interconnected, sustainable community.”