The use of autonomous vehicles to support public transportation needs in Florida is an emerging issue. The integration of these technologies could challenge a range of current planning assumptions, from the municipal ownership of public transportation assets to the local land-use plan policies required to accommodate such use. Much of what will ultimately be required to re-envision urban design and modify infrastructure plans and land development regulations to accommodate autonomous transit vehicles is applicable today as communities begin to experience a rise in shared mobility options. Questions like where and how will passengers be picked up and dropped off, where shared use vehicles can be stored, and in what ways will our cityscapes need to change to accommodate these and other related needs call out for immediate solutions. These solutions, while in direct response to the rise in commercial ride-sharing and other shared mobility options, will also help with the ultimate accommodation of autonomous vehicles, especially with respect to transit.
The FSU Department of Urban and Regional Planning developed a series of urban design templates and accompanying policy and planning guidance to facilitate and incentivize urban adaptation for shared mobility solutions and autonomous transit services. The project was undertaken as a graduate capstone studio project conducted by second year planning students. The project included the following components:
- Conduct research on design guidance for accommodating ride hail, ride-share and mass transit drop off/pick up, livery/rally points, fueling and parking.
- Select four design contexts: Urban stadium, urban downtown, suburban mall/shopping center, and rural destination aggregator.
- Identify relevant case studies for each context.
- Identify local ordinances and plan policies specific to each case study that may either inhibit or promote shared mobility and the researched design standards or retrofits. Include recommendations to sunset or modify administrative or policy barriers and to incorporate facilitating policies into existing plans, regulation and ordinances.
- Prepare conceptual urban design templates for the four design contexts.
- Prepare a summary report on policy recommendations for implementation.