New Autonomous Vehicle Guide Helps Cities Prepare for a Driverless Future

April 19, 2017 - (2 min read)

New Autonomous Vehicle Guide Helps Cities Prepare for a Driverless Future

WASHINGTON — April 19, 2017 — Today, National League of Cities (NLC) released a new guide to help cities prepare for the roll out of autonomous vehicles (AV) in their communities. The report, “Autonomous Vehicles: A Policy Preparation Guide,” provides an overview of AV technology and answers frequently asked questions around AV manufacturers, public policy considerations, municipal coordination, and infrastructure investment.

“Autonomous vehicles are rolling out on city streets across the country at a rapid pace – much faster than anticipated just a few years ago,” said Brooks Rainwater, senior executive and director of the Center for City Solutions at the National League of Cities (NLC). “While state and federal entities have always played a role in regulating transportation, cities are where this new technology is being deployed now.”

The guide acts as a city-focused complement to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) 2016 Federal Automated Vehicles Policy, which focuses heavily on the role of the federal and state governments in AV policy.  

“For self-driving vehicles to be truly successful and reach their full potential, cities must work in partnership with their counterparts at the state and federal level to ensure travel within – and between – states is seamless,” continued Rainwater. “Ultimately, cities play a critical role in maximizing the benefits of autonomous vehicle technology, and are in the unique position of understanding how and where these new technologies will work best.”

This policy guide comes at an important time for city leaders planning for the future of transportation and mobility. In addition to outlining answers to pressing questions, the report recommends:

  • Cities should start planning now because AVs are on streets today
  • Policy development must have the right people at the table, including city staff in charge of planning and transportation, procurement, IT, and law enforcement
  • Cities should track and monitor federal and state developments and make sure their interests are voiced
  • Cities should begin planning infrastructure needs and building data and computing capacity to take advantage of an automated mobility future

The full guide can be accessed at:


The National League of Cities (NLC) is the voice of America’s cities, towns and villages, representing more than 200 million people across the country. NLC works to strengthen local leadership, influence federal policy and drive innovative solutions. Stay connected with NLC on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.