“As an employment center and tourist destination, Beverly Hills has more than its share of regional traffic; and many traffic, safety and parking problems can be solved with [autonomous vehicles], especially when used as a form of public transportation,” Beverly Hills mayor John Mirisch stated in a press release.
The city’s vision for self-driving public transit is a particularly ambitious part of the plan. They are looking toward a future that includes on-demand, point-to-point transportation in the vehicles. Imagine something like a Beverly Hills-specific Uber service—but without the drivers, of course. Officials claim the municipality is collaborating with an engineering team from MIT and Carnegie Mellon to start bringing this to life. Similar projects are already being tested in Spain and the Netherlands, so it may not be as science-fiction as it might have sounded even just a few years ago.