Three European cities to participate in Bloomberg Aspen Initiative
London, Helsinki and Paris will be part of a new initiative to prepare urban areas for the challenges and opportunities of autonomous driving. The Bloomberg Aspen Initiative on Cities and Autonomous Vehicles helps ten 10 leading global cities to better equip for this upcoming era. “ The advent of autonomous cars is one of the most exciting developments ever to happen to cities – and if mayors collaborate with one another, and with partners in the private sector, they can improve people’s lives in ways we can only imagine today”, said former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, whose foundation is administering the intiative.
The report notes that London can rely on the GATEway project for city-wide pilots, whereas Paris “is taking a coordinated citywide approach to AV planning, spearheaded by the city’s Mobility Agency.” Tampere is one of the smallest participants in the initiative, but stands out for its level of innovation in automated driving.
To help a broader set of cities plan for their own future, the Bloomberg Aspen Initiative will publish a set of principles, resources, and tools that respond to the tremendous interest and needs of cities around the world. Walter Isaacson of the Aspen Institute commented that “the real innovation potential here is not just for new kinds of cars, but new kinds of communities.” The report by the initiative concludes that there is a narrow window to shape the spread of AVs. Over the last 30 years, automakers and academics laid the foundations for the breakthroughs that are now upon us. AVs will spread slowly at first, but as costs fall in quick fashion, they will spread across the globe even faster than the automobile in the 20th century. Cities could fall behind in the blink of an eye.