State commission next week to discuss driverless vehicles, transportation impacts on communities

Current efforts to reconnect and revitalize communities that have been divided by transportation construction projects is one of the topics of discussion when the Washington State Transportation Commission meets virtually next week. The commission will also hear about General Motors’ collaboration with Cruise to introduce the Origin, one of the latest developments in electric autonomous vehicles.

The meeting starts at 9 a.m. both Tuesday, March 15, and Wednesday, March 16. Due to limitations related to COVID-19, this meeting will be virtual using Zoom. People interested in attending can register on the commission’s website. TVW will broadcast the meeting live.

Highlights of Tuesday’s presentations include:

  • Tolling Performance and Financial Update: An overview of traffic and revenue performance of Washington toll facilities will be provided.
  • Virginia’s Road Usage Charge Implementation: Insights will be provided from Virginia’s upcoming implementation of a voluntary road usage charge program.
  • Federal Safety Program for Partially Automated Vehicles: This briefing will focus on the federal Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS) new ratings program that evaluates the safeguards that vehicles with partial automation employ to help drivers stay focused on the road.
  • Learnings from Cruise’s “Origin” Autonomous Vehicle Shuttle: A briefing will be provided on the Origin, a fully driverless vehicle, designed to operate without a human driver. Discussion will include the policy implications of advancing autonomous vehicle technology.

Highlights of Wednesday’s presentations include:

  • Reconnecting Communities: An overview of the impacts created when neighborhoods are separated by the construction a major transportation system through the community will be provided. Two current projects in Washington designed to reconnect and revitalize communities that have been negatively impacted will be highlighted.
  • Front and Centered Listening Sessions: The results of recent listening sessions and surveys designed to gather community perspectives on issues such as climate change, green transportation, and mobility equity will be discussed.

The commission will take public comment at 11:45 a.m. Wednesday, March 16. Those wishing to speak can sign up during the meeting by posting their name in the Q&A box on-screen. Written comments can also be submitted via email at:

For more information about the commission and a complete meeting agenda, visit:


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