Waymo in front of USF

Autonomous Vehicles and the City Initiative

How will smart mobility and automation impact our cities? What kind of policies do we need to ensure sustainable and just outcomes?

Imagining the Future of Mobility

Our Autonomous Vehicles & the City Initiative focuses on bringing together national leaders in business, policy, and academia to dialogue how we can innovate cities in the new mobility future. Since 2017 we have hosted international dialogues focusing on the many ways that technology and innovation are reshaping how we move through cities and how autonomous vehicles can be used to serve diverse populations and help meet climate goals.

Our cutting edge research and events have offered a window for public and private entities to collaborate on new economic models and management strategies that cross the public and private section — touching on the topics such as data, accessibility, land use and design, the environment, the future of transit, clean energy, participatory governance, and many more.

Annual Symposium

What are the automated solutions for the future of sustainable cities? Catch a glimpse of our symposiums to find out more.

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Research Topics

Autonomous Vehicles and the City research breaks new ground in planning, design, and management of sustainable and just urban systems. We focus on topics ranging from:

  • autonomous vehicles & systems
  • technology scouting
  • curb management
  • pick-up and drop-off points (PUDO)
  • AV for public transit and mobility equity
  • optimized freight movements
  • solutions for aging/inadequate infrastructure
  • travel behavior and smart mobility
  • public-private partnerships
  • business models
  • climate change

If you wish to collaborate with us, sponsor a project or work together on advancing the benefits of automation please contact avcity@usfca.edu.

Current & Past Projects

Explore our projects spanning autonomous vehicle street design, AI-powered road digitization, and AV services for USF students and individuals with disabilities.

Student making a PowerPoint presentation
Henriette Cornet

Henriette Cornet

Co-Director, Autonomous Vehicles and the City Initiative

There is a huge car dependency in much of the U.S. In rural areas of Europe we also have car dependency, but in cities in Europe we’ve worked for many years to remove cars, and that is a perspective I’d like to bring — how to improve the quality of life in cities with less car dependency."

Henriette Cornet

Co-Director, Autonomous Vehicles and the City Initiative

Training & Teaching

We regularly conduct training for professionals on autonomous vehicles and services. The trainings can be set online or in-person with variable duration depending on the training goals. Depending on the locations, our training can be combined with technical visits with companies and laboratories based on our extended network. Previous and recurring trainings and courses have been given for companies such as Hyundai and BMW, for academic partners like re Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) program ‘Sustainable Mobility and Logistic’ as part of the Master in Applied Computer Sciences and Master in Urban Studies, or for organizations like ITS Belgium and their Mobility Masterclass on Automated Mobility in Brussels, the International Association of Public Transport (UITP), and the International Task Force on Vehicle Highway Automation (ITFVHA).

Read more about Training and teaching

If you are interested in booking a course or training, please contact avcity@usfca.edu.


Sponsorships support our events and research along with the University of San Francisco mission to promote academically rigorous, socially responsible learning with a global perspective that educates leaders who fashion a more humane and just world. Please email us at avcity@usfca.edu if you have interest in partnering.

Two students ride a cable car.


Autonomous Vehicles and the City Initiative

101 Howard Street
San Francisco, CA 94105