Grant to “demystify” self-driving vehicles draws skepticism

Pittsburgh will use a sizable foundation grant to teach residents about autonomous vehicles, and it plans to start in an area of the city where tech development — and a proposal of a self-driving shuttle — has some residents questioning the city’s agenda.

Upon approval from council, the city’s Department of Mobility and Infrastructure is set to receive $410,539 over three years from the Miami-based John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to “demystify” autonomous vehicle technology, according to a Wednesday announcement by the city.

The outreach effort will begin with a “deep” engagement with residents in Hazelwood, Greenfield and Glen Hazel, where the city is exploring various public transportation ideas, including autonomous transportation, Ms. Ricks said. Additionally, the income, race and age demographics in those neighborhoods provide a good sample for the rest of the city, she said.

But some in the Four Mile Run section of Greenfield have already protested plans for a private electric shuttle — which officials say could be autonomous in the future — in their neighborhood.