New Mobility Questions and Answers

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Q: What are you proposing to test?

A: Three key tests:

  1. Community engagement: SERA/Civic Ecology Institute proposes to conduct a series of Civic Ecology workshops in target communities that will enable technology experts and citizens to engage in designing future smart autonomous systems that are accessible to a variety of income levels in these target communities.
  2. Technology: intends to conduct trials of connected urban speed electric vehicles and autonomous technologies to assess readiness for addressing selected sustainable, vision zero and equity goals.
  3. Operations: intends to conduct pilots to introduce the public to connected urban speed electric vehicles and autonomous vehicles and learn how people respond.

Q: Will your tests require any hardware, connectivity or other infrastructure upgrades or investment?

A: Yes

  1. High Bandwidth short range and low bandwidth long range connectivity possibly 5G and LoRa respectively. We will work with organizations like US Ignite and FIWARE to ensure we are delivering well tested hardware and software infrastructure.
  2. High accuracy geolocation either through either:
    1. Real Time Kinematic (RTK) satellite navigation: a technique used to enhance the precision of position data derived from satellite-based positioning systems such as GPS. It relies on a reference stations to provide real-time corrections, providing up to centimetre-level accuracy. Or
    2. Ultra-Wideband (UWB). ultra-wideband technology is several times better than traditional positioning systems based on WiFi or GPS. Furthermore, the signals can penetrate walls and make it suitable for indoor environments or urban canyons.

Q: In what type of terrain/environment do you hope to test ?

A: We are interested in first mile last mile challenges, testing in urban retail, industrial and residential and in all seasons.

Q: What streets or blocks in Portland do you propose testing?

A: We are looking for a variety of environments that meet the city planning goals. We are particularly interested in Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative Districts like 42nd Ave, Cully Blvd Alliance, Rosewood, Division-Midway Alliance, Jade District, Historic Parkrose and Main Street Districts like St. John’s Center for Opportunity, Alberta Main Street. While we intend to step through Tests (1), (2), (3) in that order we believe the Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative Districts will be particularly valuable in understanding ways to address equity and prosperity with Community engagement while the main street districts will be ideal Technology testbeds.

Q: If you plan to use AVs, how many will be in use for your pilot? What is the maximum number of AVs that would be operating in the pilot program simultaneously?

A: Mobility Cubed is capable of deploying 1-2 vehicles now for tests and has developed an alliance with Gunderson LLC to build the assembly line. With this assembly line the supply of AVs is essentially unlimited. Gunderson is member of the Greenbrier Companies headquartered in Lake Oswego, Oregon and is a leading international supplier of equipment and services to the freight rail transportation markets. They are currently providing space and purchasing power, giving Mobility Cubed the ability to scale very rapidly as orders grow. works closely with a number of electric vehicle companies including Easy Mile, Navya, Local Motors, Innova, and others

Q: How is success measured for your pilot program?

A: As we explore community needs with civic engagement we will develop a plan for data collection and use this data to measure progress against the City’s Comprehensive Plan, Vision Zero Action Plan, and Climate Action Plan

Q: What data will be produced by the test(s)? Could such data be collected and shared on the following outputs during the program and at full deployment origin, destination, route, and VMT; speeds; emissions, etc.? If not, why?

A: In line with the PCAST report we recommend the concept of a comprehensive information infrastructure for Portland. This "City Web", would provide an information-sharing platform between many cities. We would use our strong relationship with NIST and the Global City Teams Challenge to engage other cities in this data sharing information on solutions, best practices and experience. Although there may be exceptions for reasons of security or privacy, the default position is that transportation data should be open to encourage the widest possible range of potential innovation.

Q: How would your service(s)/product(s) address Portland’s goals, which are outlined in Chapter 9 of the City’s Comprehensive Plan?

A: Safety and specifically Vision Zero : AV ready urban speed electric vehicles will have advanced crash avoidance technologies, this combined with the urban appropriate seed would play a significant role in achieving the Vision Zero goals. Note that a 12 mph vehicle can be brought to a full stop in 6 feet. Ensuring equity : Addressing the last mile will go a long way to eliminating transportation deserts. Further removing cars and freeing up parking space will open streets to people and l spaces. Civic Engagement workshops will ensure community participation addressing concerns for equitable access and benefit.

Congestion reduction : Shared vehicles will remove parked cars from streets and eliminate the need for cars to spend time looking for parking. Increased use of transit will take many cars of the road. Making streets safer for walking will mean more trips are taken by foot and bike.

Reducing climate pollution : This will be potentially eliminating thousands of gasoline burning vehicles from Portland streets. Creating great places : Freeing up parking spaces and making streets safer for walking will greatly increase public space for community building. Generating economic prosperity : By leading this new era of urban transportation the City of Portland will bring an enlarged share of a $59 trillion over the next fifteen years transportation infrastructure business to the region.

Q: What do you need for the pilot program to be successful? Specifically, what do you need from the City of Portland?

A: We will need coordination and cooperation among City of Portland, TriMet and pilot site owners.

Q: Is a partnership with the City of Portland contemplated for your pilot program?

A: Yes we believe the City of Portland should establish an Advisory Working Group to ensure support from the city for projects that use city infrastructure whenever possible and that reviews Connected and Autonomous Vehicles Policy prior to their being adopted to weigh factors that impact sustainability, equity, safety, prosperity, and innovation.

Q: If so, would such a partnership require a financial investment by the City?

A: We expect providing the above level of partnership on pilot programs, but we do not anticipate any major city funding.

Q: Has the technology been previously tested? If so, when and where did those test take place?

A: The driver versions of the Mobility Cubed vehicles have been in operation for three years with several hundred thousand hours of operation. Drive-by-wire operation of the bus has been tested at the Gunderson facility on 4350 NW Front Ave since July 2017 and a preliminary demonstration has been shown to Portland’s TriMet and Columbus OH US DOT winning team.

Q: What were the results of these tests?

A: There were three results

  1. The transportation priorities of key neighborhoods around Portland.
  2. The readiness of key technologies to improving safety, etc.
  3. The social acceptance of these technologies in key neighborhoods around Portland.