API 510:

Autonomous Vehicles (AV) technology is advancing at a rapid rate. Public policy to support AV's is struggling to keep pace.

For AV's to unlock public and private benefits in mobility, land use and economic development, the right public policies are required.

The front lines for these policies are state and local governments.

Course Overview

The Policy Development Field Lab provides students with an opportunity to develop a detailed policy proposal and a plan for its implementation. The course explores the full policy development process in the messy real world. This year the policy development centers on regulating the deployment of a disruptive innovation - autonomous vehicles (AVs). You will have the opportunity to work on one of the following:

  • Draft legislation for a vehicle miles traveled fee for AVs

  • Propose regulation of commercial/delivery use of AVs

  • Craft regulation of micro-mobility (e-bikes, e-scooters, etc.)

  • Propose privacy regulations for data captured through AV cameras

The course provides you with an opportunity to directly participate in the policy making process, to deepen your understanding of AV policy and to build relationships with AV policymakers and stakeholders.

The classroom sessions provide concepts and frameworks to structure policy development and the detailed mechanics for their use. Topics will include: building a policy narrative, mapping policy shapers and stakeholders, socializing narratives, developing and writing policy, developing implementation plans, and selling your proposal.

Students will also have a weekly meeting/check-in with their client to review a progress on deliverables.

The students will provide the client with two deliverables, a draft policy with supporting legislative/regulatory language and an associated implementation strategy/plan. The students will also write two 750-word memos. One elaborates on the implications of either politics or the private sector in the policymaking. The second is a reflection memo on the insights gained from the field lab work.

The course size is limited to ensure a hands-on learning experience. The course is open to all. A policy framework tutorial will be held the first week for those not familiar with policy making.

The course will serve both policy makers and these impacted by policy who want to roll up their sleeves and develop real policy. There is no formal course prerequisite but previous exposure to policy courses or experience is helpful.

Logistics & Class Norms

Friday Client Meeting

On Friday’s you will have your weekly session with the client. You and they will find a mutually agreeable time. When possible, you are encouraged to the meetings in person; although, phone/Skype calls can also be used.

Student Assessment

Client deliverables -- 40%

Two 750 word memos – 40%

Class participation – 20%

Expectations of Professionalism

Note on Ethics: You are expected to abide by the University policies on academic honesty and integrity. Violations of these policies will not be tolerated and are subject to severe sanctions up to and including expulsion from the University.

Note on Attendance: Punctual attendance is also part of your overall grade. If you have more than one unexcused absence, your final grade will be reduced by half a letter grade. If you are late more than 2 times, your final grade will be reduced by half a letter grade.