AAA in the Community: A peek into the future

J. Skyler McKinley

When AAA Colorado first came together in 1922, we recognized that the car was a cutting-edge technology that could profoundly alter daily life. That’s why our first project was numbering Colorado’s highways, and donating more than 2,000 highway signs to the state. We also advocated for, get this, paved roads!

As in 1922, today’s technology is posed to fundamentally change how we get around. I’m proud that AAA remains a transportation thought leader. Last year, our colleagues in Las Vegas launched one of the world’s first autonomous shuttle buses, while other colleagues at AAA Northern California operate the largest autonomous vehicle testing facility in the U.S.

In Colorado, I’m honored to represent AAA Colorado on the board of Transportation Solutions, a transportation management agency recognized for its innovation. Recently, Transportation Solutions worked with the City of Denver and Ford Motors Chariot company to launch City Shuttle, an app-based shuttle service that connects Denver’s Cherry Creek and Capitol Hill neighborhoods. While typical buses run whether there are riders or not, City Shuttle is demand responsive—it only runs when requested.

This pilot program will evaluate how on-demand, tech-based tools enhance existing transportation options. Those who work in or visit these areas, but live elsewhere, can rely on City Shuttle as a fast, direct, and affordable way to get home or to connect to mass transit, all while easing vehicle congestion and parking challenges. It lets the rest of us peek into a future where the automobile is just one of many technologies we use to get around on any given day.

J. Skyler McKinley is AAA Colorado’s spokesman and director of government affairs.