Preparing for the future of urban mobility with autonomous
vehicles study trips

The Autonomous Vehicles study group in front of the California State Capitol in Sacramento

Anticipating the challenges of AV implementation

Being prepared for the wide-scale deployment of AVs is about more than just understanding its technology; it’s also about understanding the legal, social, and infrastructural aspects necessary to lay the crucial groundwork for more sustainable urban mobility and urban planning. The rise of AVs is increasingly bringing nascent discussions to the fore; begging the question of how to communicate on issues around implementation and potential backlash. “It’s not only to prepare a legislative framework but also a mental framework, to be ahead of time, to understand that this is coming and how they can manage this transition,” Fuliotto says.

The strategy of the study trips goes beyond accessing the companies that have implemented the technology, such as Amazon and Tesla, and interacts with the public sector as well. For example, the first tour to San Francisco included meetings with officials from the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency and the California Department of Transportation who are overseeing AV implementation. CEO of Espaces-Mobilités and Coordinator of the Mobility Masterclass, Xavier Tackoen, explains, “The Mobility Masterclass Study Tour in the US was an invaluable experience for our participants. It offered a firsthand look at cutting-edge mobility solutions and fostered meaningful connections with industry leaders, but it also allowed Belgian transport practitioners to have time for high-level discussions.”