D.C. Prepares To Launch Transportation As A Service (10-5-18)

Washington, D.C.

The city wants to boost for-hire vehicle occupancy rates, while also improving low-income residents’ access to transportation and reducing traffic congestion.

WASHINGTON — Only 40 percent of the taxis and ride-hailing vehicles in the District of Columbia are occupied at any given time, ever since services like Uber and Lyft gained popularity, according to City Hall.

Car subscriptions and Google’s self-driving taxi service—under development in Mountain View, California—are likely to transform the transportation ecosystem even further in coming years. So, district officials say they want to start now to help fill the seats of the vehicles on the road, while also helping provide better transportation options for low-income residents.

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Self-Driving Shuttles Roll Out On Columbus Streets (9-24-18)

One of Columbus’ self-driving shuttles. Image courtesy of May Mobility.

Columbus, Ohio, winner of the Department of Transportation’s Smart Cities Challenge in 2016, is using part of the $50 million it received to pilot a self-driving shuttle program. The driverless vehicles took to the streets late last week.

The vehicles are operated by May Mobility, a Michigan-based startup. No passengers are currently allowed on the shuttles, as the route is still being mapped and tested; however, riders will be invited to ride starting in December, according to program materials.

“We’re proud to have the first self-driving shuttle in Ohio being tested on the streets of Columbus,” Mayor Andrew Ginther said in a statement. “This pilot will shape future uses of this emerging technology in Columbus and the nation. Residents win when we add more mobility options to our transportation ecosystem — making it easier to get to work, school or local attractions.”

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