Beverly Hills plans to use autonomous vehicles for public transportation
Forget the bus. In Beverly Hills, within the next decade, public transportation will be operated by autonomous vehicles.
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Earlier this month, the City of Beverly Hills, California unanimously passed a resolution to create a program that will use autonomous vehicles (A.V.s) as public transportation.
The autonomous vehicles will be a part of the planned Purple Line, which is expected to be in operation by 2026. Beverly Hills' technology committee pushed for the passage of the plan now, however, since several companies "will have A.V.s on the market in two to five years," according to the city's press lease.
Once fully operational, residents will be able to use a smartphone app to request the self-driving on-demand shuttles to take them from point to point.
“We can’t solve future or even today’s problems using technology of the past,” said Beverly Hills Mayor John Mirisch. “A.V.s will take private cars off the road, reduce demand for parking, increase safety and mobility for everyone, including the disabled, and solve the ‘first/lastmile’ challenge for residents using the future Purple Line.”
Intriguingly, Beverly Hills specified that in the first phase of the program, it will develop partnerships with companies like Google and Tesla — not traditional automakers like Mercedes-Benz or Audi, as one might expect.
Personally, while I think Beverly Hills is overlooking some important partnerships in traditional and cutting-edge carmakers, I am impressed with its foresightedness. Truly, autonomous vehicles will play a huge role in transportation in the future. Likely, they'll supplant traditional car ownership as well as some public transportation.