Buffalo officials plan for a future where cars drive themselves

Some day in the not-so-distant future, transit experts predict, Buffalo commuters will whiz to work in driverless cars that steer and park themselves.

Driverless Ubers already cruise Pittsburgh. A self-driving shuttle named Myla circles Columbus. And in Buffalo, city officials have announced, urban planners from across the country will gather this February to plot how the Queen City will look and feel when driverless vehicles rule the roads.

The $40,000, weeklong workshop series — a collaboration between the Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency and the Congress for the New Urbanism, a national nonprofit planning group — will seek to future-proof the region as new technologies roll out, said Brendan Mehaffy, Buffalo’s chief planner. Attendees will tackle questions both futuristic and banal, from “What will become of all the parking ramps?” to “can a driverless car take a freeze-thaw pothole?”