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Profile: City of Chandler

PAVE: How has City of Chandler prepared for AVs?

The spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation dates back to the founding of our community. Chandler residents have long been early adopters of technology, in part, because some many of our residents work in the high-tech manufacturing, information technology, software development, aviation and aerospace industries. The use of autonomous vehicles on Chandler roadways began in 2016 when more than 3,000 Chandler residents attended the Google Self-driving Car open house to learn more about these vehicles and offer their ideas about the use of autonomous vehicles.

In 2017, the Chandler police and fire departments teamed with Waymo engineers and conducted an emergency response test to help autonomous vehicles learn to recognize and respond to emergency vehicles in ordinary and unexpected ways.

In 2018, Chandler became the first city to adapt its zoning code to accommodate the increased use of autonomous vehicles and ride sharing. The zoning code changes encourage developments to plan for drop-off and pick-up areas for people using autonomous vehicles or ride sharing. In return, Chandler can reduce the development’s required parking area by up to 40 percent.

In 2019, Chandler entered into an agreement with Waymo to use autonomous vehicles as a ride sharing service for city employees. Dedicated autonomous vehicle drop-off and pick-up locations at City Hall and in Downtown Chander were put into use. The Chandler fire and police departments also partnered with Waymo to put together protocols and training materials for emergency responders for interactions with autonomous vehicles.

PAVE: What AV deployments have taken place in Chandler?

Waymo has advanced its autonomous vehicle development since coming to Chandler in 2016. Our community in 2017 was the first to participate in Waymo’s early rider program to give residents the experience of riding in an autonomous vehicle. Waymo initially utilized safety drivers behind the wheel, but in 2018 riders began to take rides without occupants in the front seat.

That same year, Waymo also launched its Waymo One commercial ride sharing service, making Chandler the first market to have this service.

Intel established its Automated Driving Group in Chandler to collaborate with the world’s leaders in automotive design and technology on the development of autonomous vehicles. Intel tests and operates its autonomous vehicles in Chandler as well. Intel-based technologies are used by Waymo for sensor processing, general compute and connectivity, enabling real-time decisions for full autonomy in urban conditions.

PAVE: What is the most important thing you’ve learned from your work with AVs?

Autonomous vehicle research and development in Chandler is supported by multiple companies who manufacture components and create solutions that support advancements in the development of autonomous vehicle technology. As a natural extension of this established industry cluster, Chandler has sought out companies to research, develop, test and produce autonomous vehicle services, software solutions and components. As a city, we have learned the importance of serving as a facilitator (rather than a regulator) to help companies do business in Chandler as they advance the development of this technology.

Read more about the City of Chandler’s experience with AV deployment on their website or follow them on social media.

Credit: City of Chandler

About the Public Sector Advisory Council: PAVE’s public sector partners help to guide PAVE on its mission of promoting fact-based public discussion about automated vehicles. Council members serve in a strictly advisory capacity, providing PAVE and its members with opinions and recommendations related to AV technology and its societal effects.