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Information Technology IT Corner Autonomous Vehicles
Autonomous Vehicles

Autonomous Vehicle (AV) Initiative

Leaning in to Technology

Beverly Hills has been actively engaged in enhancing its tech infrastructure.  In 2015, Google honored Beverly Hills with their prestigious Google eCity designation in recognition of the city’s digital significance.  This award is given to one city per state and Beverly Hills led other California municipalities in this independently conducted ranking.

Why AV? 

When it comes to autonomous vehicles (AV) it is a question of when and in what form - not if.  Autonomous vehicles will quite simply remake our nation's roads in the coming decade and their adoption means meaningful safety, environmental, and economic benefits as well as mobility for the transportation disadvantaged.  And significantly for Beverly Hills, a city-run AV service will reduce traffic congestion and lessen demand for parking.  Much of the national conversation to date has been around autonomous vehicles for personal use, but Beverly Hills has signaled its intent to develop a municipal fleet of driverless vehicles.

Why Beverly Hills?

Beverly Hills is singularly equipped to be a highly successful pilot city for an exploratory autonomous vehicle effort.

Beverly Hills is right-sized.  At 5.7 square miles, Beverly Hills is large enough to be statistically significant yet small enough to be manageable.

Beverly Hills is ready.  Beverly Hills’ infrastructure is tailor-made for autonomous vehicles.  The city’s roads are superb and a sophisticated fiber optic cable network is currently being designed to bring high-speed internet to every business and resident. This system will allow the sensor technology that powers autonomous vehicles to be quickly and cost-effectively added, permitting vehicles to communicate with the city’s electronic grid and with each other.

Beverly Hills is scalable.  Autonomous vehicles serve as a platform for the addition of other sensors that aid in public safety.  An AV program will allow the city to leverage our robust CCTV program, license plate recognition system and traffic monitoring applications. 

Beverly Hills is poised to connect.  An on-demand, autonomous vehicle shuttle service will bridge the critical ‘first/last mile’ gap with the planned extension of the Los Angeles Metro Rail system.

Beverly Hills’ population is tech savvy.  The city boasts a well-educated resident and visitor base who are nimble adopters of new technologies.

Commitment 

There is support for the autonomous vehicle initiative on many levels in Beverly Hills.

Mayor John Mirisch was an early and vocal public champion of autonomous vehicles and is leading the charge to make this emerging technology a reality.

Support is widespread for AV to play an important role in the public transportation in the city.  On April 5, 2016 the Beverly Hills City Council voted unanimously to adopt a resolution that commits the city to create a program to test and deploy a fleet of driverless municipal vehicles.

And the city’s Technology Committee, comprised of tech-savvy resident representatives, is helping to inform Beverly Hill’s autonomous vehicle efforts.

Next Steps 

In addition to active engagement with key AV thought leaders, the City of Beverly Hills will host a symposium for the study of this issue in the fall of 2016 at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Arts to which the public will be invited.  Called Driven by Innovation - this event will convene important stakeholders who are shaping the autonomous vehicle sector including legislators, regulators, manufacturers, government agencies and academics.

Quote

Taking a leadership role in the adoption of autonomous vehicle technology makes perfect sense for Beverly Hills and I’m proud that our city’s leadership is aligned around this vision.  As prudent, field-tested AV solutions and products emerge, Beverly Hills will be poised to make this promising technology a reality.”   

 

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