Solving the “last mile” problem would be “low hanging fruit” for autonomous vehicles — like self-driving buses or commuter vans — that can pick up and drop off commuters, says Dr. Junfeng Jiao Director of the Urban Information Lab at UT School of Architecture’s Community and Regional Planning department.
Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Aspen Institute conducted the recent cities survey and released the results on Monday. Bloomberg Philanthropies examined the cities that are piloting autonomous vehicle programs or working on legislation to enable self-driving vehicles. “The most common anticipated role for [autonomous vehicles] is bridging existing gaps at the edges of transit systems, a crucial link that planners call the ‘last mile,’” the researchers write. “Almost every city indicated interest in using AVs for last-mile solutions, and for a majority of cities it was the highest priority.”