Self driving shuttles may soon be hitting the streets of Downtown Lincoln, with help from grants provided by Bloomberg Philanthropies. At a press conference Friday, Mayor Chris Beutler says the idea of self-driving shuttles put Lincoln in the finalist phase of Bloomberg Philanthropies 2018 Mayors Challenge.
The challenge pits mayors from across the nation against each other to see who can, according to the Mayors Challenge website, ” think big, be bold, and uncover inventive — and, ultimately, shareable — ideas that tackle today’s toughest problem”. Lincoln is one of 35 other “Champion Cities” to make it as finalists. More than 320 applications were received.
The contest in now entering its ” Test Learn and Adapt” phase, meaning Lincoln and the other finalists are being granted $100,000 to design and test their respective ideas. The winner will be selected in October. The the winning city receive $5 million grant to implement their idea. Four runners up will receive a $1 million grant.
Mayor Beutler says he hopes Lincoln’s plan to implement self -driving shuttles in Downtown Lincoln will dramatically reduce congestion in the growing city, and become a model for cities nationwide.
” In 2019 four driver-less shuttles could be moving visitors to the Pinnacle Bank Arena, could be moving students to their classes at the University of Nebraska and could be moving workers to their places of employment,” the mayor said.
A report available on Startan’s website says pilot testing could begin as soon as late summer.