Bringing the Public to the Autonomous Vehicle Table

Pittsburghers deserve a public conversation about driverless vehicles in our city.

Pittsburghers for Public Transit believes that residents are long-overdue for a public conversation about the autonomous vehicles that have been roaming our streets for the last three years.

There are now five different companies testing their technology in our neighborhoods and millions of tax-payer dollars are earmarked to facilitate their deployment. Yet, in all of the time since Uber’s 2016 announcement that it would begin autonomous vehicle testing, there has not been a single public forum for residents to ask questions and learn about the experimental technology.

If PGH residents are forced to play the role of test subject and investor then we need to be at the table to make decisions about this tech.

We all deserve information about what this tech will do for our communities and a space to decide whether this is actually the best way to invest our public resources.

PPT has spent the last 10 months working with researchers at the University of Pittsburgh to examine what the downstream effects of Autonomous Vehicles will be on our jobs, our environment, public safety, data privacy, and access to equitable public transit. It is important that the public have the resources to examine all of these effects alongside each other because none of them will happen in isolation.

It is only after Pittsburgh has had a robust public dialogue about our values and the technology that we can decide whether this is a future to invest in.

Throughout the end of July, PPT will hold a series of public conversations about Autonomous Vehicles and our shared values.

We are eager to share the findings from our research, and open the floor for residents to voice the questions that they deserve answers to.

Please reach out if you would like to get involved or learn more: Hope to see you as one or all of these events:

Tuesday, July 13 // Talk @ Pitt with PGH Human Rights City Working group // 4-6pm in Posvar Hall

How should autonomous vehicle tech be used to build a human rights city? Pittsburghers for Public Transit will preview some of the findings of our new paper, “Wait, Who’s Driving This Thing? Bringing the Public to the Autonomous Vehicle Table”. And we will open discussion to raise other questions and concerns to keep in mind during this work.

Thursday, July 18 // Bringing the Public to the Autonomous Vehicle Table :: PPT’s Research Paper Release & Community Conversation // 4-5:30pm at Spartan Center

Join us in Hazelwood on Thursday for the public release of “Wait Who’s Driving This Thing? Bringing the Public to the Autonomous vehicle Table”, and a community conversation about our shared values when it comes to public transportation investments.

Tuesday, July 23 // Pittsburgh City Council Post-Agenda Hearing on AV Impacts // 1-3pm at City Council Chambers, 414 Grant St

Pittsburgh City Council members Theresa Kail-Smith, Corey O’Connor, and Deb Gross have called for a Post-Agenda Hearing for Council to learn more about the impacts of AV from experts in the field. PPT has worked with these Council-people to assemble a panel from across the country who will testify about their experience and answer questions about the holistic impacts of AV.