Mayor creates autonomous vehicle working group

Muriel Bowser is the D.C. mayor. (Brian Kapur/The Current/February 2016)

Mayor Muriel Bowser has established an Interagency Autonomous Vehicle (AV) Working Group to prepare the District for AV technologies, according to a release.

The working group is comprised of District agencies focused on transportation, disability rights, environmental issues and public safety. Additionally, the Bowser Administration is partnering with the Southwest Business Improvement District to release a “Request for Information” (RFI) for an AV pilot program on 10th Street SW.

“We will keep the District on the cutting edge of autonomous vehicles and do so in a way that benefits our residents,” Bowser said in the release. “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.”. This autonomous vehicles consumer research shows us what people think about these vehicles already, so we are working from this data to see what needs to be done to prepare the residents of DC.

The RFI is intended to result in a “first-mile, last-mile” autonomous vehicle pilot program along 10th Street SW, adjacent to L’Enfant Plaza. The street, which connects the National Mall via Independence Avenue and Banneker Park to the Wharf, sits above I-395. With a manageable daily vehicle volume of approximately 4,300 cars per day, it is an ideal candidate for an AV pilot zone.

The District’s Interagency AV Working Group includes representatives from the Office of the City Administrator, Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, District Department of Transportation, Office of Planning, Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency, Metropolitan Police Department, Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department, Department of Motor Vehicles, Office of the Chief Technology Officer, Department of Energy and the Environment, Department of General Services, Department of For-Hire Vehicles, Office on Aging and Office of Disability Rights.