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Recap: Lessons from the Sharing Economy for the Autonomous Vehicle Future

Webinar featuring Susan Shaheen, UC Berkeley and Mike Manville, UCLA

Autonomous vehicles hold enormous potential – a future with self-driving cars could mean safer streets, less congestion, and increased equity. These benefits are particularly promising when autonomous vehicle technology meets shared mobility companies like Uber and Lyft. But how close are we to that future? Professor Susan Shaheen of UC Berkeley and Associate Professor Michael Manville of UCLA talked about this difficult issue during a webinar hosted by the UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies.

We are still some time away from truly autonomous vehicles. There are five stages of automation: level 4 means you can occasionally take your eyes off the road and your hands off the wheel and level 5 means completely self-driving vehicles. No large-scale deployments of level 4 or 5 automation exist, but that will change soon.

“What I think we’re going to see as we move into 2017 and beyond is more of these highly automated or fully automated deployments,” explained Professor Shaheen. Companies like Uber and Tesla are already starting to scale up autonomous vehicle experiments.

When autonomous vehicles do roll out in larger numbers, it will likely be in limited scenarios. Cities like Columbus and San Francisco are working on low-speed autonomous shuttles that will offer a relatively safe way to study this technology. Pilot projects like these could pave the way for autonomous transit well-suited to areas currently underserved by public transportation.

The future of autonomous vehicles is not without issues. Professor Shaheen pointed out that self-driving cars could increase driving, especially if people own their own private autonomous vehicles. Is a world saturated with self-driving cars one in which public transit is obsolete?

Autonomous vehicles have significant potential as tools of shared […]

By |February 23rd, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|

UCLA ITS Hosts LA’s First Transportation Camp

UCLA ITS’s Juan Matute is leading the Opening Reveille at TransportationCamp. Photo via Twitter @pietromarx

TransportationCamp in LA: What an amazing, exhilarating day. […]

By |October 4th, 2015|Categories: events, Transportation|

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Welcome to UCLA Public Affairs Research Centers. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!

By |December 17th, 2013|Categories: Uncategorized|

Climate Change Initiative Director Juan Matute Interviewed By UCLA Today

Juan Matute, Director of the UCLA Climate Change Initiative was recently interviewed by UCLA Today. Click here to read more about climate change, transportation, and what we can do about it.

Juan Matute is the director of the UCLA Local Climate Change Initiative at the Luskin School of Public Affairs. He studies how to transform notoriously car-dependent cities like Los Angeles into cleaner, greener, but still useable public-transit hubs.

By |October 10th, 2013|Categories: Environment, Transportation|

CicLAvia Associated with Increased Sales to Local Businesses

LOS ANGELES, October 1, 2012 — Businesses along the June 2013 CicLAvia route experienced a 10 percent bump in sales on the day of the event, a new study from the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs has found.

The increase was greater among those businesses that engaged with CicLAvia participants such as with a vending table or music. “Active participant” businesses saw their sales increase 57 percent according to the study, with sales revenue increases of $1,356 on average compared to $407 on average for all businesses.

With the eighth iteration of L.A.’s day of car-free streets approaching on October 6, the data gives business owners, residents and CicLAvia participants tips on how to make the most of the unique interactions that happen during the event.

Approximately 150,000 people on foot, bikes and skates experienced iconic Wilshire Boulevard as part of the CicLAvia event on June 23, 2013. Researchers at UCLA Luskin’s Complete Streets Initiative and the Luskin Center for Innovation surveyed a representative sample of brick-and-mortar businesses along the route, comparing sales revenue and foot traffic on CicLAvia Sunday and a Sunday earlier that month.

The researchers found revenues increased by an average of $407 per business—$3,122 in sales on CicLAvia Sunday, as compared with $2,715 on a typical Sunday. When extrapolated along the entire route, this translates into a total sales revenue increase of $52,444 across the 128 establishments that were open during CicLAvia on Sundays in June.

“These numbers demonstrate positive gains for local businesses, but they underestimate the event’s overall economic impact,” said J.R. DeShazo, director of the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation and principal investigator of the study.

The reasons for the undercount include:

Food Trucks and Other Informal Vendors: The estimated increase in revenue accounts only for the […]

By |October 1st, 2013|Categories: Complete Streets, Transportation|

Juan Matute Addresses California Assembly Committee on Community and Neighborhood Development

Manager of the Local Climate Change Initiative Juan Matute addressed California State Assembly Members about options to finance public improvements.  Matute recently wrote a policy brief on the evolution of policy options used to fund or finance local infrastructure improvements in California.    A key finding was that though financing needs for infill settings in established communities were more complicated, fewer practical financing options existed in these areas.

On Wednesday, August 28th, the California Assembly’s Select Committee on Community and Neighborhood Development held a hearing to explore challenges to funding and financing infrastructure improvements in established communities, especially in light of the dissolution of redevelopment in California two years ago.  Matute and UCLA Urban Planning alumnus and City of San Diego Planning Director Bill Fulton gave official testimony about the challenges to infrastructure finance in established communities, where many statewide funding mechanisms are less applicable or more difficult to use.

At the hearing, the Assembly Members and witnesses discussed options to institute a more limited form of tax increment financing applicable to infill areas and high quality transit areas, a topic currently under consideration in Senate President Darrell Steinberg’s SB 1.

By |August 29th, 2013|Categories: Community Development and Housing|

Study: Downtown L.A. Parklets Improve Community, Quality of Life

In February 2013, City of Los Angeles unveiled its first pair of parklets. Six months forward, UCLA Luskin and affiliated researchers have found the parklets bring an improved quality of life to residents and visitors along the Spring Street corridor.

In an evaluation (PDF) completed as a part of the “Reclaiming the Right of Way” project, researchers at UCLA Luskin’s Complete Streets Initiative and the research collaborative Parklet Studies monitored various elements one would find in a thriving urban street setting — including pedestrian and bike traffic, use of public space, and patronage of local businesses — to gauge how the neighborhood has changed since the parklets were installed.

Parklets are small public spaces created in urban areas from the conversion of parking spots, alleyways and other underutilized spaces for cars into places for people. Los Angeles joins New York, San Francisco and Vancouver, B.C., in the ranks of cities that have encouraged parklets as innovative solutions to increase access to open space and provide residents opportunities for recreation in their neighborhoods.

Two of the four Los Angeles pilot parklet installations, which are located at the ends of a block of Spring Street in Downtown’s Historic Core, offer local residents a place to sit and relax in the busy city center. The northern installation includes a large, tall table; stools and swing chairs for sitting; and two stationary bicycles for active recreation. The southern unit features design elements that evoke a park and playground, two more stationary bicycles, and a foosball table. Visitors to Spring Street and the cafes adjacent to each parklet can eat their food on the tall bar-style table, moveable low tables or groupings of swing chairs.

By comparing year-over-year data, the team found that a more vibrant, lively community has […]

By |August 26th, 2013|Categories: Complete Streets, Environment, Transportation|

Complete Streets Initiative Announces the Opening of Parklets; Manual for Living Streets Wins National Award

On February 7, two “parklets,” or micro urban parks, were officially opened in downtown Los Angeles in a morning ribbon-cutting ceremony on Spring Street; the Lewis Center’s Complete Streets Initiative played a central role in creating these new public spaces. “This parklet is the first in the nation focused on active recreation,” said Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris, Associate Dean of the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, who was a lead Lewis Center researcher on the project and who spoke at the ceremony.

The parklet features bike equipment and a foosball table along with seating and vegetation. The two parklets on Spring Street were designed by the Downtown L.A. Neighborhood Council with support from Councilmember Jose Huizar and the L.A. Department of Transportation. The Complete Streets Initiative worked with these partners throughout the project phases and supported construction with a grant from the Rosaline & Arthur Gilbert Foundation.

The local parklet movement is guided by the parklet toolkit (PDF) authored by Loukaitou-Sideris, UCLA Complete Streets Initiative Manager Madeline Brozen, and UCLA Luskin Center Deputy Director Colleen Callahan. “It is a very exciting day for Los Angeles and UCLA. We are seeing our research put into action by helping the city implement this innovative project,” Brozen noted. The UCLA team in collaboration with Parklet Studies will next evaluate the parklets’ use and pedestrian and business volumes in the area, to quantify the impact of the micro parks.

Also part of the UCLA Complete Streets Initiative is the Model Design Manual for Living Streets, a reference for cities and others working to enhance the many economic, social, and travel purposes of streets. The Federal Highway Administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation has selected the Model Design Manual as one of only […]

By |April 9th, 2013|Categories: Complete Streets, Transportation|

National Academies Committee, including Brian Taylor, Releases New Report on Reducing Petroleum Use

A new report from the National Research Council examines major policies that could save energy and reduce emissions from the U.S. transportation sector over the next 20 to 50 years.

It will take more than tougher fuel economy standards for U.S. transportation to significantly cut its oil use over the next half century.  It will likely require a combination of measures that foster consumer and supplier interest in vehicle fuel economy, alternative fuels, and a more efficient transportation system, says a new report from the National Research Council.  Public interest in reducing the cost of securing the nation’s energy supplies, curbing emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases (GHGs), and improving transportation operations could motivate such varied actions.

“It is not simply a matter of choosing a single best policy,” said Emil Frankel, director of transportation policy, Bipartisan Policy Center, Washington, D.C., and chair of the committee that wrote the report.  “Decisions about whether and how to reduce transportation’s use of oil will require officials to consider a range of options.”

The U.S. transportation sector accounts for more than two-thirds of the nation’s oil use and about 25 percent of its carbon dioxide emissions.  Federal regulations over the past 40 years such as fuel economy standards have helped the transportation sector make significant gains in controlling its oil use and emissions.  However, these measures are likely to do little more than temper growth in the sector’s carbon dioxide emissions and demand for oil over the next several decades, the committee said.

To achieve earlier, larger, and sustained gains, a longer-term strategy involving a mix of policy measures and impacts on transportation energy demand and supplies is needed.  The report was developed to inform policymakers of the pros and […]

By |June 23rd, 2011|Categories: Transportation|