New York City is moving toward a more efficient, safer, and sustainable future that includes autonomous vehicles for transit, e-commerce, and medical transport. However, autonomy often runs on incomplete or flawed foundations: training data sets might not prepare vehicles to “see” people of color; transit shuttles may operate without safety considerations for women, frequent targets of sexual harassment on transit; delivery pods might be sharing personal data with several third parties. Although the City will regulate vehicle safety and efficacy on the street, autonomous mobility must be evaluated under more ambitious and holistic standards. The Responsible Autonomous Mobility (RAM) Framework aims to identify partnership in several areas, including:
- Safe and accessible for users of all genders, income levels, and abilities
- Equitably deployed across neighborhoods, especially those will low transit availability
- Responsible use of data, especially when potentially exposing individuals’ immigration, religious or other private information to third parties — – in particular, taking open mobility data standards and examining how they can accommodate under-represented populations
- Adaptable to aging infrastructure, particularly in flood zones and in the event of power outages
- Providers are committed to retraining for job displacement
- Trained on data that includes a diversity of users RAM is based on the LEED certificate, which standardized sustainability metrics and was designed with a range of stakeholders.
The Responsible Autonomous Mobility framework development will consist of:
- A literature review to identify areas of under-representation in autonomous vehicles
- Hosting three workshops, consisting of policymakers, subject matter experts, and industry leaders to work toward identifying solutions and areas of need and opportunity
- Taking an existing mobility data specification and identifying revisions to accommodate under-represented populations
- Writing a framework that coalesces the topics identified during the workshop
- Distributing the framework widely across the industry and governance
At the conclusion of this project, a framework for Responsible Autonomous Mobility in New York City will be developed.
Associate Director, NYU Rudin Center for Transportation
Sarah Kaufman is the Principal Investigator on this project.
Deputy Director, C2SMART
Joseph Chow is a Co-Principal Investigator on this project.
Bingqing Liu is a Researcher on this project.