2019 National Planning Conference

Transportation's Missing Links: Planning Autonomous Shuttles

Saturday, April 13, 2019, 2:45 p.m. - Saturday, April 13, 2019, 5:15 p.m. PDT

CM | 2.50

Activity Type: Deep Dive Sessions

Activity ID: NPC199007

Location: 2022

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  • Understand the legal, safety, planning, business model and policy framework for autonomous shuttles for public and private microtransit.
  • Explore various use cases for shuttles in urban, suburban, rural and campus settings.
  • Integrate shuttle operations into site design, with a focus on small area plan aspects of streets, curbs, parking, loading zones, and building design.


Just as housing has a missing-middle challenge, transportation lacks mid-size service models for small groups traveling in the same direction. Autonomous technology is poised to reduce costs, making small circulators feasible for serving short routes and first- and last-mile access to transit. Examine land-use and transportation for four different use cases: downtown circulator, suburban retrofit, commuter rail station, and town and gown college campus.
Get an overview and status update of autonomous shuttle technology and policy, as well as results from the first generation of pilot projects. Speakers provide an overview of opportunities, challenges and common policy levers to address risks.

Working with aerial maps in table rounds, develop one or more scenarios for shuttle service and redevelopment plan(s) for each use case. In developing scenarios, create likely timelines and site-specific opportunities and challenges. While creating redevelopment plans, develop a planning framework. including integration with larger zoning code updates, parking plans, mobility and comprehensive plans.

The value of the exercise lies in linking mobility technology with land use and economic development, highlighting the role of planners in planning autonomous shuttles

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Session Speakers

Lisa Nisenson
Wantman Group
West Palm Beach, FL

Craig S. Lewis, FAICP
Stantec's Urban Places
Charlotte, NC

Kelley Coyner