Autonomous Vehicles

Dawning of new era

Released March 21, 2017

Companies are rapidly setting up shop in Pittsburgh to develop and test Autonomous Vehicles (AVs) and are using Pittsburgh’s public streets as a testbed. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Transportation and PennDOT officially designated Pittsburgh as a “proving ground” for autonomous vehicle testing in the U.S.

This development has opened up very serious questions about the safety of our streets and how our cities and towns are designed. To better understand these issues, BikePGH conducted a survey of Pittsburghers’ experiences sharing the road with autonomous vehicles while walking and biking.

AV technology has the potential to change the public realm, impact the economy, reduce collisions, and alter our environment like nothing we’ve seen since the invention of the automobile. Public policy and public perception will play significant roles in how our cities will change and what AV companies are permitted to do in the public realm during this experiment. Our elected leaders can help ensure Pittsburgher’s safety by setting the terms for how these companies operate.

Autonomous vehicles are fast becoming part of our future. We are at an important moment in terms of how this technology interacts with pedestrians and bicyclists and how it will change the public realm. Ultimately it’s up to all of us to decide what kind of city we want to live in.


BikePGH Releases Survey Results

BikePGH designed the survey to see both how our donor-members, and Pittsburgh residents at large, feel about about sharing the road with AVs as a bicyclist and/or as a pedestrian.

We were interested in finding out about everything from how Pittsburghers who bike and walk feel about being designated an AV proving ground to how safe they feel biking and walking alongside human drivers and AVs. Additionally, we wanted to begin to collect people’s stories about their interactions with AVs, both the good and the bad.

We feel that this data is valuable for the public good. We have released the raw data to the Western Pennsylvania Regional Data Center (WPRDC) so that others can explore, process, and conduct new and different analyses.

Admittedly, the results of the survey were surprising, and will influence how BikePGH will approach our work as it relates to AVs and keeping bike riders and pedestrians safe, which relies heavily on advocating for an urban form that puts people first not motorized vehicles.

Click here for survey resuts

Submit Autonomous Vehicle Experience (SAVE)

Whether positive, negative, or neutral, we want to SAVE your experience to collect this important data.

BikePGH will continue to collect people’s experiences using the online SAVE form. The form will allow users of our streets to submit their interactions with Autonomous Vehicles and will be helpful in determining how BikePGH approaches its advocacy and education regarding AVs. 

Please submit one form per interaction.

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