Tuesday in SF – Regional strategy for the Autonomous Vehicle Era

A fascinating panel on “Autonomous Vehicles and the Bay Area” is is being hosted by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission on Tuesday evening, June 26, 5:30-7pm, at the Bay Area Metro HQ in San Francisco.   Headlined by Prof Dan Sperling of UC Davis, author of “Three Revolutions: Steering Automated, Shared, and Electric Vehicles to a Better Future,” this panel is the launch event for a new research paper with scenarios and policy ideas about the coming future with autonomous vehicles, the first in of a series of papers about transformational trends, setting the stage for the region’s next major wave of transportation and land use planning.    

Experts including Sperling anticipate that autonomous vehicle technology could bring about a “Heaven” of less pollution, less congestion, and healthier, more walkable communities, or a “Hell” of more traffic congestion and far suburban sprawl by reducing the stress and cost of long-distance commutes. Which way things go will depend on public policies and a strong role played by the public sector.

The future is approaching; we are starting to see a proliferation of mobility services from the private sector (transportation networks, bikeshare, scooters) and a trend dubbed “Mobility as a Service”, with apps providing access to bundles of transport services.  See SPUR’s excellent blog post on the MaaS trend.

Just a few weeks ago, the Clipper Executive Board set a direction for Clipper and Bay Area transit agencies to explore how to participate in the MaaS trendbut expressed some skepticism that Bay Area transit would be able to play a strong role – because we have are so many agencies with disconnected services.  


This coming week’s panel and the Autonomous Vehicle Futures paper are part of the MTC and ABAG’s Horizon Initiative, a program enabling the public, planners and policymakers to wrestle with pressing issues the Bay Area may face through 2050.  

By attending the panel event, and/or contributing your thoughts to the Horizon Initiative, you can encourage our region’s institutions to step to the challenges and opportunities posed by emerging autonomous, shared, and “mobility as a service” technologies.

The information about the event is below. You can encourage the public sector to play a key role in shaping how autonomous vehicles will support public goals, and participate in “mobility as a service”. Send your thoughts to: Dave Vautin, Horizon project manager, at dvautin@bayareametro.gov

Tue, June 26, 2018
5:30 PM – 7:00 PM PDT
Bay Area Metro Center
375 Beale Street, Yerba Buena Conference Room
San Francisco, CA 94105
Click here to RSVP