Georgia Smart Communities Challenge


Drivers? Where we're Going, We Don't Need Drivers...Phase II Shared Autonomous Vehicle Study

Chamblee is one of four Georgia communities to have developed and will implement smart design solutions to some of the biggest challenges facing the state. The projects, which tackle housing, traffic congestion, sea level rise and shared autonomous vehicles, are supported through the Georgia Smart Communities Challenge

This new Georgia Tech-led initiative brings together industry and public agencies to help local governments implement smart development. The strategies developed by the selected communities will serve as models that could be implemented elsewhere across Georgia. Chamblee has partnered with MARTA, the City of Doraville, Assembly CID, and Stantec to build on the Self-Driving Shuttle Feasibility Study and Concept Plan adopted earlier this year. The project will include a communications plan, system operations plan, preliminary engineering and supporting network concepts, funding model, and best practices manual so other communicates may replicate the process in the future.

The program provides seed funding and access to technical assistance, expert advice, and a network of peers. A Georgia Tech researcher will advise and conduct research in support of each group’s goals. Chamblee has partnered with Ellen Dunham-Jones, a professor and Director of the Urban Design Program for the College of Design at Georgia Tech. Ellen and her students will work with us to envision the potential impacts of autonomous vehicle technology on land uses, on attracting next generation residents and employees, on expanding access to MARTA, on prioritizing of pedestrian and bicycle mobility to maintain the human scale in City streets, and on improving public health.

The research is important to achieve the City’s overall vision as it is transforming from a more automobile-oriented community to a more urban, transit-oriented, and multi-modal community. This research will focus on how Chamblee can leverage Shared Autonomous Vehicles (SAVs) and the redevelopment opportunities they may provide to achieve its broader goals of livability and sustainable urban design. Ultimately, the research deliverables will produce a set of recommendations for Chamblee as well as best practices for other local governments to follow as they introduce SAVs onto public streets.

The Challenge process kicked-off in September 2018. Stay tuned for opportunities to get involved and be a part of the next generation of mobility in Chamblee.

If you have any questions concerning the Georgia Smart Communities Challenge, please contact Rebecca Keefer, City of Chamblee Special Projects Manager, at