AGRiP recently participated in meetings focused on drones and autonomous vehicles, gathering insight into how these technologies might be used by public entities. Public entity pools might want to monitor if and how their members are implementing or regulating these technologies.
The American Planning Association hosted a presentation about public entity drone use and regulation of drone flights. The event included public entity planners and contract vendors of drone services, with focus on how drones are being used for planning functions. Few local government planners are using drones in their work today, though many see opportunity to do so. Planners are increasing their familiarity with the regulatory environment for drones, and actively looking for information at the federal, state, and local levels. Pools offering assistance to members about drone use or regulation might refer to a summary of issues published by the National Conference of State Legislatures, the National League of Cities' model drone ordinance and a Syracuse University nationwide summary of city and county ordinances.
Princeton University facilitated a meeting about automated vehicle technology, ranging from collision avoidance systems to fully automated "driverless" vehicles. These emerging vehicles might change transportation services and infrastructure within local governments. Particular areas to watch include street and highway infrastructure, public transit systems and school busing, fleet management in public works, maintenance, and emergency services. And, there could be new special districts created around mobility as a public service. Federal, state, and local regulation of autonomous vehicles could also be of interest to public entity risk pools.
To better understand current autonomous vehicle technology and its potential impact, public entity pools can review the Federal Automated Vehicles Policy published by U.S. Department of Transportation and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Public sector specific resources are available through the American Public Transportation Association, National Association of Counties, and National League of Cities.
If you are interested in either of these innovations and how they might impact your pool's operations, share your thoughts with AGRiP Executive Director Ann Gergen.