D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser on Monday sent a message to companies developing and testing driverless technology: The city is opening its doors to them. Bowser said she is creating a work group and directing it to “proactively prepare the District” for autonomous vehicle technologies. The group includes members from the various walks of life, who will be tasked with exploring the benefits of the technology to the District, its residents and visitors.
The District’s embrace of autonomous vehicles is touted as a continuation of the city’s commitment to innovation. Last year the District Department of Transportation allowed Starship Technologies to experiment making food deliveries to residents in Logan Circle and around the 14th Street corridor via robots.
Washington, D.C., is a creative, tech-savvy city, and as we grow, we will always be exploring and investing in innovation and finding ways to make it more inclusive.
– Muriel E. Bowser, Mayor
As part of the effort, the city and the Southwest Business Improvement District are soliciting innovative ideas from the self-driving car industry for a pilot program to be launched near L’Enfant Plaza. The announcement comes after Bowser’s visit to Silicon Valley where she pitched the District as an ideal location for tech companies, to promote the city “as the capital of inclusive innovation” and visit potential job creators.