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DC Makes a Push For Self-Driving Technology in the City

by Nena Perry-Brown

DC Makes a Push For Self-Driving Technology in the City: Figure 1
L'Enfant Plaza SW

Earlier this month, UrbanTurf reported on how autonomous vehicles (AVs) could have a dramatic effect on property values in the DC area. Now, the District is getting proactive on incorporating AV technology into its roadways. 

Today, the Southwest Business Improvement District (BID) and the city's Interagency AV Working Group announced a request for information (RFI) on self-driving technology with the anticipation of running a pilot program along L'Enfant Plaza SW (also known as 10th Street). 

The RFI would enumerate potential AV options for the corridor, including identifying companies that offer the technology, what level of automation is possible, the logistic capabilities of AV on L'Enfant Plaza, and the physical or technological infrastructure required for implementation.

While details of the pilot program will be dependent upon the outcome of the RFI, the announcement notes that the AV line should advance the District's goal of reducing single-occupant vehicular trips, making a shuttle along the street a distinct possibility.

The RFI points out that there is a Southwest Neighborhood Shuttle that currently traverses the 1.6-mile loop between 7th and 10th Streets SW and Independence and Maine Avenues. The RFI also cites the thus-far successful Starship Technologies pilot program that has seen semi-autonomous wheeled robots deployed to make deliveries downtown.

In addition to the pilot program, Mayor Bowser also established the AV Working Group today, which includes representatives from the District Department of Transportation, Office of Planning, and the Deputy Mayor of Planning and Economic Development, among other agencies.

"We will keep the District on the cutting edge of autonomous vehicles and do so in a way that benefits our residents," Mayor Muriel Bowser said in a statement. "Washington, DC is a creative, tech-savvy city, and as we grow, we will always be exploring and investing in innovation and finding ways to make it more inclusive."

RFI applications are due April 13th.

See other articles related to: self-driving cars, autonomous vehicles

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/dc-makes-moves-to-push-forward-self-driving-technology/13560

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