Our planning studio was lucky enough to have Greg Rogers and Jyot Chadha come and present the latest developments in new mobility to our class.
Greg Rogers is the Director of Government Affairs and Mobility Innovation at Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE). In this role, Greg advocates for federal and state policies that will enable the safe and expeditious adoption of autonomous vehicles and other emerging technologies.
Greg presented on the opportunities that open up for cities with the introduction of autonomous vehicles. AVs, he pointed out, won’t be a silver bullet for fixing transportation, but they can help in many areas including safety, transportation costs, and carbon emissions. Since the vast majority of vehicle crashes are caused by human error, AVs could mean a significant safety increase and the dynamics of fleet operating AVs mean that AVs are likely to be electric from the start.
Greg also emphasized that taking full advantage of AVs requires rethinking how we allocate urban space to vehicles currently. Right now, significant portions of public and private space is dedicated to storing vehicles for long periods of time. For AVs, short term pick up and drop off zones make more sense than parking, since less people will be driving themselves to their destination and leaving their car.
Jyot Chadha leads the New Sustainable Mobility practice at the WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities. She works with the fastest growing mega cities in the developing world to understand the disruption taking place in transport today. Her work involves harnessing shared, electric, and driverless innovations for societal, environmental, and economic benefit.
Jyot talked about the opportunity AVs provide us since AV deployment will mean a turnover of a significant portion of the vehicle fleet. She pointed out that we have underpriced personal vehicle use and dedicated lots of public space to their use. The roll out of AVs will allow us an opportunity to rethink our cities.