Why cities aren’t preparing for autonomous vehicles

A study evaluating municipal planning for autonomous vehicles found that an overwhelming majority of cities have done little to prepare for their arrival. At the same time, many of those cities have concerns about the negative impacts AVs could bring along with the substantial benefits, from increased vehicle miles traveled and congestion to reduced transit ridership and increased sprawl.

IPCC finds taxes, regulations mix most effective for vehicle emissions reductions

A new study by researchers at the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment, and Energy finds that in order to achieve needed reductions in vehicle-based CO2 emissions, a combination of both market-based and regulatory policies must be adopted worldwide. Furthermore, the authors find that no one singular policy, even when implemented to the extreme, can achieve reductions equivalent to several policies combined.

States may look to leaders in regulating electric bicycles

Electric bicycles (e-bikes) are becoming more popular as more options become available. So far, ten states have updated their laws to reflect this trend and accommodate the technology. An additional 20 states have defined e-bikes but have not fully defined their operation under law. The remaining states have no e-bike laws at all. So far, the technology and its adoption have been outpacing legislation. It is now up to states and localities to determine how to best regulate them.

SUVs are killing us

As noted in a previous SSTI post, the rise of SUVs and other light trucks as personal vehicles has been identified as a contributing factor to the startling rise in pedestrian fatalities since 2009. Researchers, auto makers, and regulatory agencies have known for years about this increased risk to pedestrians, but disagree about how to mitigate the dangers. In an in-depth but very readable article, the Detroit Free Press and USA Today outlined the consequences of increasing popularity of light trucks as personal vehicles and looked at the industry and government responses, both within the U.S. and in Europe.

Regulation catching up with the ride-sharing industry

As Uber, Sidecar, and Lyft ride-sharing services have expanded their reach into cities across the world, questions about if and how they should be regulated have followed close behind. Recently, a number of U.S. cities and states have begun taking action to regulate these services in ways that allow them to operate but require them to meet licensing, registration, vehicle, and insurance requirements.