Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Aspen Institute announced today that five cities have joined its global initiative to help city leaders plan and prepare for the emergence of autonomous vehicles. The cities of Helsinki, Finland; London, England; São Paulo, Brazil; Tel Aviv, Israel and Washington, D.C., USA will join the inaugural participants of the Bloomberg Aspen Initiative on Cities and Autonomous Vehicles announced last fall. Over the course of the next year, the multi-city cohort will produce a set of principles and tools that cities around the world can use to chart their own paths forward with the new technology.
At the 2017 North American International Auto Show, philanthropist and three-term New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said today, “The autonomous vehicle revolution is here – and by examining the opportunities and challenges, mayors can lead the way in adopting policies that benefit citizens and communities. We’re excited to welcome five new international cities to our initiative, and we are glad to have the active participation of auto companies. Together, we can help shape the future of transportation.”
“The development of autonomous vehicles has the potential to have a significant impact on cities in unexpected and dramatic ways,” said Aspen Institute President and CEO Walter Isaacson. He added: “This partnership between the Aspen Institute Center for Urban Innovation and Bloomberg Philanthropies offers an excellent opportunity for cities and experts to share knowledge and collectively plan, with the ultimate aim of improving the quality of life in communities throughout the world.”
Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Aspen Institute will marshal cutting edge data and facilitate an innovation process that helps city leaders consider the many ways this technology could solve chronic urban challenges, and improve the lives of citizens. To create a cross-sector public dialogue, the initiative will also convene leading experts across a wide range of practice areas to help cities explore the intersections of autonomous vehicles with various policies and issues – from the opportunities that can be created in the areas of inequality and mobility, to the potential challenges autonomous vehicles pose to commuting and public transport.
The Bloomberg Aspen Initiative launched in October 2016 with five inaugural cities: Austin, USA; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Los Angeles, USA; Paris, France; and Nashville, USA. This initiative will support the ten named cities and respond to the tremendous interest and needs of cities around the world. Insights developed during the year-long process will help a broad network of cities proactively and strategically prepare for the integration of autonomous vehicles.
The Bloomberg Aspen Initiative on Cities and Autonomous Vehicles is Bloomberg Philanthropies’ latest Government Innovation offering. Government Innovation equips mayors and other city leaders with the tools and techniques they need to solve urban challenges and improve citizens’ lives.