Smart Autonomous Vehicles Initiative (SAVI)


City of Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT)


Mayor Ted Wheeler, Commissioner Dan Saltzman

Portland is recognized as a leading city with respect to developing innovative technology solutions that improve our quality of life. We believe Portland can build on this legacy by developing best practices for testing autonomous vehicles (AV). Portland can show how to “do AV smart” by working with transportation providers and the public to implement testing and piloting of this technology, while advancing public safety, protection of the environment and transportation access for everyone, regardless of income.

Autonomous vehicles have the potential to be a truly transformative technology. They could benefit our communities by reducing crashes, improving first and last mile connections for public transit riders, and reducing the high cost of owning a private vehicle. They also have the potential to significantly increase traffic congestion, vehicle miles traveled, and climate pollution.

The protections and rules of the road adopted by state and local governments will substantially determine how much benefit and how much burden we experience.

It is also important that cities provide clear leadership as AV technology is tested and piloted before widespread use. AVs operating on city streets with pedestrians, people in wheelchairs, and bicyclists pose different challenges than AVs operating on open stretches of I-5 and I-84. Local streets must continue to be managed by the local agencies which know them best.

For more information, visit the SAVI project website: