By The Kent Redding Group
AUSTIN, TX. - There's no denying that just a few short years ago the concept of riding in a self driving vehicle may have seemed like a foreign concept to some people but times have changed and with most major auto manufacturers committing to bringing autonomous, or self driving vehicles to the market, Austin is quietly becoming the city of choice for creators of self driving vehicles.
The city’s reputation for entrepreneurship and innovation already has attracted mobility pioneers such as Google (which is testing its self-driving vehicles there), Ride Austin, Fasten, Car2Go, B-Cycle, SPLT and Chariot, with other original equipment manufacturers and entrepreneurs poised to join the fray. It’s clear that Austin already has forged a leadership role.
A catalyst in this momentum, RMI selected Austin as the lead implementation city for the Mobility Transformation program. Since 2015, RMI has partnered with the city to bring together public and private stakeholders to develop and implement shared, electrified and eventually autonomous mobility solutions. Projects include commuting solutions, fleet electrification, autonomous vehicle pilots, mobility data and mobility-oriented development.
It’s worth calling out MOD as a critical piece of the new mobility puzzle. It’s foundational to creating cities designed to not only accommodate new mobility but also cultivate it. That's why the city is redesigning innovative land use codes that promote health, environmental and economic benefits by addressing their potential consequences on the mobility system.
All of this paints a clear picture of Austin’s role in the advancement of new mobility. The New Mobility Plan will be submitted to the City Council in June and will outline the material pathways to achieving the city’s ambitious goals. Hopefully, it will inspire pioneering companies to join Austin as it continues the journey toward commercialization and at-scale consumer adoption of the new mobility paradigm.
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