The development and deployment of connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) will transform transportation on a global scale. This emerging industry has the potential to contribute positively to job creation, economic development, and quality of life. However, little is yet known about the impacts these innovations will have on communities or how to plan for them. The Greater Ann Arbor Region has significant assets and economic development efforts underway to position the region and the state as the center of CAV technology development and policy. To gain this foothold, stakeholders in the Greater Ann Arbor Region must also have a firm understanding of the implications associated with community planning.

A technical grant under the Greater Ann Arbor Region’s Prosperity Initiative was recently awarded to Kuntzsch Solutions, the Center for Automotive Research (CAR), and the Michigan Municipal League to explore the issue of preparing our communities for CAV deployment. This work began with a facilitated session at the Michigan Municipal League Convention on September 15, 2016, where more than 50 community leaders shared their thoughts and concerns about community planning and preparedness for CAVs. As a part of this effort, CAR is conducting research on impacts to infrastructure, transportation, land use, and other topics such as public awareness and regulations.

Results of this preliminary research will be shared at a regional event, and participants will be invited to share additional questions for further research. Ultimately, the project team will develop a report identifying policy recommendations and opportunities for their implementation.