The first city in the world to be able to run autonomous cars on city streets, the Seattle area will also be the first in the country to test out a full-fledged, self-driven fleet of self-parking trucks.
As of now, Seattle is the only major American city to have a fully self-balancing autonomous vehicle.
“I think that’s a big step forward for our city,” said Councilmember Rob Johnson.
“This will allow us to be one of the first cities to test our systems.”
The self-powered fleet will be parked in a variety of ways, from streets to the curb.
For instance, there’s a dedicated self-steering parking lot on Capitol Hill, which will eventually become a self parking lot.
“We’re talking about hundreds of parking spots, if not thousands of parking spaces,” said Johnson.
While the technology may be new, Johnson believes it will be easier to test the city’s systems once autonomous cars are fully operational.
“There will be no need for people to be looking for parking spots,” said the Councilmember.
“Once you have autonomous cars, you will be able access all of your parking spaces.”
Self-parked vehicles will also have the ability to turn off the self-drive system when the driver stops to pick up a customer, or pick up other drivers.
For example, Johnson noted that self-drivers could stop and drop off customers at the Seattle Center.
Self-drive systems will also allow for self-service kiosks, and autonomous cars will also provide a way to drop off goods.
The city will be one step closer to its goal of reducing the citywide carbon footprint by 25 percent by 2025.
“Seattle is in a transition right now.
There is no infrastructure to support the city for decades to come,” said Seattle Mayor Ed Murray.
“As the city continues to transition from fossil fuels to renewables, we must have the infrastructure and policies in place to support sustainable mobility.”
As Seattle’s self-Parking trucks roll out, the city is also working on its first fleet of fully self driving buses.
According to the city, the first bus will be rolling by the end of this year.
“In the coming months, the City of Seattle will roll out fully self drive buses to the entire city,” the city said in a press release.