How do Connected Vehicles (CV) and Autonomous Vehicles (AV) relate to the Community Plan Update process for Kearny Mesa?
Smart City San Diego is a multi-year public-private collaboration of leading government, business, education, and nonprofit organizations with the objectives to improve the region’s energy independence, to empower consumers to use electric vehicles, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and to encourage economic growth. In alignment with Smart City San Diego initiatives, the City and region are examining the operation of connected vehicles1 and autonomous vehicles2 (CV/AV) within our mobility system.
Potential benefits of CV/AV include the elimination of a large number of vehicular crashes and more efficient fuel consumption with a corresponding reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.3 Different levels of government, from federal to local, have roles in deployment of autonomous vehicles on our roadways. The National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) is responsible for developing, setting, and enforcing motor vehicle standards and regulations for motor vehicles and motor vehicle equipment. This agency provides recommended principles that states may wish to apply as part of their considerations for driverless vehicle operation.3 In accordance with the federal efforts, the California State Vehicle Code and regulations will be revised to address CV/AV technology. The cooperation of all levels of government agencies is required for the safe implementation of this technology so that its full benefits can be realized.
Over the next few years, CV/AV technology will be tested on several San Diego freeways and local roadways. In January 2017, the San Diego region was designated by the US Department of Transportation as one of ten “proving grounds” for autonomous vehicles in the nation. The pilot program proposes to operate AV on the I-15 Express Lanes, the South Bay Expressway (SR 125), and along the local network of streets in Chula Vista.4 This effort requires the coordination of multiple organizations including the City of San Diego, the City of Chula Vista, Caltrans, SANDAG, and private partners to openly share best practices for the safe conduct of testing and operations. Agencies are working together through 2017 to plan and prepare for the pilot program, which is expected to launch in 2018.5,6
The City of San Diego Planning Department recognizes the emergent role of CV/AV in the future mobility system in our city, and seeks to incorporate this information into our planning policies. While the City will be introducing policies that support AV/CV, the specific applications and associated improvements or accommodations within communities from a land use or transportation perspective will rely on outcomes of federal, state, and regional planning, design, testing, and operational efforts currently underway. In turn, the Kearny Mesa Community Plan Update (CPU) will align with these policies and incorporate appropriate language. The CPU’s focus regarding CV/AV will be to maximize their utility and benefits through smart deployment throughout the City. The City is excited to participate in the Smart Cities Initiative and the San Diego Proving Grounds pilot study to explore, and ultimately realize, the possibilities for the smart, safe, and operational mobility network of our future.
- Connected Vehicles is defined as a vehicle that has a specific wireless communications technology providing additional safety features to both the vehicle and driver (San Diego Forward, Emerging Technologies White Paper, July 2014).
- Autonomous Vehicles are those in which at least some aspects of safety-critical control function occur without direct driver impact (San Diego Forward, Emerging Technologies White Paper, July 2014).
PRESENTATIONS from 2017 Connected Vehicles Forum can be found at http://www.circulatesd.org/autonomous_connected_vehicles_forum_presentations