Driving Economic Growth with Smarter Transportation Technology

“Autonomous vehicles are really just one key part of what we’re calling a connected place,” said moderator Brad Wright, of law firm Squire Patton Boggs, introducing a panel exploring “the nexus between autonomous vehicles and smart cities.”

An executive order from Arizona’s governor, Doug Ducey, in 2015 created the initial momentum around the adoption of autonomous vehicles, one that took into account public safety and governing but that also fostered exploration. Panelist Chris Camacho, president and CEO, Greater Phoenix Economic Council, said this position fits into the “narrative of a state that historically has had a limited regulatory, pro-business framework.”

Earlier this year, Ducey updated the order to permit driverless cars without anyone behind the wheel on any state road. In late January, Waymo, a unit of Google’s Alphabet, got a permit to operate as a Transportation Network Company, which allows Waymo’s fleet of driverless Chrysler minivans to pick up and drop off paying riders through a smartphone app or website. Although Lyft partners with a number of manufacturers, the company is developing its own self-driving system. Uber has ceased it’s driverless car testing in Arizona since a pedestrian fatality in March.

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