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Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

The Harvard Kennedy School is holding a series of AV policy scrums, intensive daylong sessions that bring together representatives of local governments, regional transit authorities, the private sector, academia and community groups.

Why it matters: State governments have allowed AV pilots, but outdated public infrastructure and ineffective regional government coordination are hindering progress on the AV roadmap. Getting all these parties around one table could help.

Background: For the past 7 years, automakers, technology companies and local and state governments have been working together to implement AV–friendly policies around road testing that address safety concerns.

  • But, but, but: These conversations have largely left out public transportation, local right-of-way issues, environmental concerns, infrastructure costs and regional coordination.

What's happening: AV policy scrums — modeled on the rugby play — have helped cities like Boston, Kansas City and Toronto define and achieve their goals.

  • Chris Osgood, Boston's Chief of Streets, has explained that these initiatives allow the city to "work with a wide variety of stakeholders to advance our thinking on the specifics of this policy," especially around shared trips.
  • New York City and Cambridge, Mass., have recently held their own scrums, and 9 states have established AV policy commissions, working groups or task forces.
  • California legislators are formulating a set of guiding principles for the state's AV policy, drawing on a series of briefs issued in 2016 by the UC Davis Institute of Transportation Studies. Their bill aims to to avoid exacerbating pollution and congestion as AVs are deployed.

Be smart: Under President Obama, the Department of Energy invested in regional clean cities efforts, bringing together 32 states to plan for electric vehicle deployment. Setting priorities for AV policy will likely require similar collaboration among private businesses, city and state authorities and residents.

Colleen Quinn is a transportation and energy policy adviser and president of EMobility Advisors.

Go deeper

Mike Allen, author of AM
31 mins ago - Politics & Policy

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Responding to charges by Sen. Rand Paul on Sunday's "Axios on HBO," NIAID director Anthony Fauci told "ABC This Week" that it's "molecularly impossible" for U.S.-funded bat virus research in China to have produced COVID-19.

Why it matters: The issue 0f Wuhan research was reignited on the right last week with a National Institutes of Health letter to Congress disclosing more about the research.

Manchin, Schumer huddle with Biden in Delaware to discuss spending bill

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (L) and Sen. Joe Manchin (R) at the U.S. Capitol on Nov. 13, 2014. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) will meet with President Biden and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Sunday morning in Delaware as Democrats look to reach an agreement on the massive spending measure.

Driving the news: Democrats are still negotiating what to keep in the bill and how to pay for it, with Biden saying on Thursday that the party does not have the votes to raise the corporate tax rate.

3 hours ago - Technology

Scoop: Facebook exec warns of "more bad headlines"

Illustration: Megan Robinson/Axios

In a post to staffers Saturday obtained by Axios, Facebook VP of global affairs Nick Clegg warned the company that worse coverage could be on the way: “We need to steel ourselves for more bad headlines in the coming days, I’m afraid.”

Catch up quick: Roughly two dozen news outlets had agreed to hold stories based on leaked materials from Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen for Monday publication — but the embargo fell apart Friday night as participating newsrooms posted a batch of articles ahead of the weekend.