“San Jose is hoping to be the first city to do it right,” says Shireen Santosham, the City of San Jose’s CIO. Speaking at the June 21st, 2017 WNAC meeting, Santosham was referring to San Jose’s autonomous vehicle pilot and how the city is hoping to work with private enterprise to advance it’s goals of making mobility safer, equitable and sustainable.
As background, in May 2017, San Jose issued a Request for Information for private companies to propose autonomous mobility solutions along certain corridors, such as the San Jose International airport to Diridon station, downtown to Santana Row or to serve as a last-mile solution for those with limited mobility.
She explains that this is a true partnership opportunity, as San Jose is offering certain assets (e.g. data, charging stations, etc.) to facilitate the pilot(s). The RFI responses are due July 28th.
In the above video, Santosham also discusses the progress of other initiatives that she and her office are involved in, including:
- San Jose’s open data platform
- Broadband and digital inclusion – 95k households in San Jose don’t have broadband access (results from the online survey are here). They are currently surveying to understand the barriers to adoption. One of the early findings is that lack of credit is a barrier. She points out a positive development is Sprint’s provision of four years of Internet for San low-income, high school students.
- A new City of San Jose app, due out in October (beta is currently available), that will allow citizens to engage with the city via an app (e.g. report potholes, garbage, etc.)
It looks like Daimler/Bosch will be supplying the Robo Taxi service between Santana Row and Downtown, sometime in mid-2019
This is a bit of a surprise, given this is in Google’s backyard; soon-to-be front yard, if their plans for a downtown campus are realized. Still, it wouldn’t be surprising if Waymo starts a service sooner, as it already has permission to deploy vehicles sans driver in Mountain View/Sunnyvale.
Of course, no one can charge for these services at this time, per the California PUC rules.
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