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15 Transit, Tech Companies Sign Compact to Shape Future Cities

Author: Vineeth Joel Patel   

Autonomous vehicles are coming, and while there may be some discrepancy on when the cars will actually arrive, their place in the future is inevitable. In order to ensure that cities are heading in the right direction to fully adopt driverless cars, 15 tech and transportation companies came together to sign a compact called, "Shared Mobility Principles For Livable Cities" that's designed to help decision-makers and stakeholders make the right moves. 

15 Companies Come Together To Outline The Future

The 15 companies come from various automotive-related segments, including bike-sharing, ride-sharing, and transit sectors – some of the more prominent names include Lyft, Uber, and Zipcar. In the pact, the companies agreed to "prioritize people over vehicles," help public transport and vehicles transition to zero-emission cars, and have an open data infrastructure. 

The list of 10 proposed principles has some lofty goals, which may take some time to come to light. But as an overarching document, which is the brainchild of Robin Chase, Zipcar's co-founder, the principles should help cities become enjoyable places to live in the future. 

Unfortunately, one of the principles is to make it illegal for city dwellers to operate their own autonomous vehicles in urban locations. That probably won't go over too well with the majority of self-driving-car owners, but the rest sounds good. 

The principles are as follows:

We plan our cities and their mobility together

- We prioritize people over vehicles

- We support the shared and efficient use of vehicles, lanes, curbs, and land

- We engage with stakeholders

- We promote equity

- We lead the transition towards a zero-emission future and renewable energy

- We support fair user fees across all modes

- We aim for public benefits via open data

- We work towards integration and seamless connectivity

- We support that autonomous vehicles (AVS) in dense urban areas should be operated only in shared fleets

To get all of the details behind each principle, the full document can be found here. The major idea of the pact, though, is to make cities more accessible to everyone by making the most out of the available space. At the moment, parking spaces make up a large amount of space in cities. Autonomous vehicles would change that and free up some space for houses, green spaces, and other necessary items. 

Ride-sharing Takes Precedent Over Private Vehicles

The kicker, though, as Wired points out, is that all of the companies that signed the pact will benefit from taking private cars off the road. Uber is looking into testing autonomous vehicles without a driver in the car in 2019. And some companies have already started doing so

"We think working together, there's a chance to unlock enormous amounts of value, and move the shared mobility pot into a bigger share overall," said Andrew Salzberg, Head of Transportation Police and Research at Uber, reports the outlet.  

There's one glaring section of the automotive industry that's missing from the pact – automakers. Companies like Ford, General Motors, and Tesla still need to sell vehicles to consumers. And those companies' ride-sharing companies, like Maven for General Motors and Daimler's Car2go are also missing from the list. 

We're sure the majority of cities will be on board with the companies' vision for the future. But the major thing now is to hold everyone accountable for actually implementing their ideas. If all of these things were to go into place, except for the part where owners can't use their vehicles in cities, urban locations may actually have a fighting chance at putting people first. 

via: Shared Mobility Principles, Wired

Vineeth Joel Patel
Joel Patel has been covering all aspects of the automotive industry for four years as an editor and freelance writer for various websites. When it comes to cars, he enjoys covering the merger between technology and cars. In his spare time, Joel likes to watch baseball, work on his car, and try new foods
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