Car Industry

Beverly Hills votes to create autonomous-vehicle program

Now, struggling artists won't need to take the bus to buy a $9 organic coffee.

Alan Copson, © Alan Copson/robertharding/Corbis
Rodeo Drive, Beverley Hills, Los Angeles, California, United States of America, North America

No longer will traffic stand between you and your next set of $4,500 shoes.

Alan Copson/robertharding/Corbis

Trying to park in Beverly Hills, California, can be a bit of a nightmare, whether it's sandwiching your car between two vehicles that cost more than your house or just trying to find a space in general. That might not be a problem for much longer, though, as Beverly Hills' city council just voted to create an autonomous-vehicle program.

The resolution (which you can find here, in PDF form) creates an autonomous-vehicle development program that hopes to boost the city's transportation infrastructure with a fleet of driverless shuttles. Users will be able to round up a shuttle using a smartphone app, and it will take folks directly to their destinations.

"This is a game-changer for Beverly Hills and, we hope, for the region," said Mayor John Mirisch in a statement. "Beverly Hills is the perfect community to take the lead to make this technology a reality. It is now both feasible and safe for autonomous cars to be on the road."

Of course, there's plenty of work to do before this program becomes an everyday reality for the city's denizens. The first phase of this program involves creating partnerships with autonomous manufacturers -- the press release mentions Google and Tesla -- and working with policymakers to ensure that the program can even become reality.