The San Diego Association of Governments has noticed a big increase throughout the county in the use of golf carts and low-speed vehicles — golf carts being two-seaters and LSVs, as they’re called, being four-seaters.

So, a group of traffic engineers from throughout the county looked at LSVs (often called NEVs, for “neighborhood electric vehicles”) on September 21 and saw a lot of potential for use of electric carts in transportation, according to City of Carlsbad traffic engineer Doug Bilse.

“We have a lot of questions about using them on the streets, and we learned that local jurisdictions need to take action to allow people to use these vehicles on the roads,” Bilse said.

Traffic engineers are starting to think of the way future roads will be designed, especially with the effort to reduce greenhouse gases.

“If you look at the percentage of trips, most people’s trips are within a few miles of where they live,” Bilse said. “But with kids to pick up and groceries to haul, for example, they may need transportation sometimes. If you could push a button on your cell and get an [neighborhood electric vehicle] to your door, and if the neighborhood shared a few of them, it would make it so people would need fewer cars.”

 Regional traffic engineers are starting to look at how to include low-speed vehicles in street design, since they expect that self-driving vehicles will be built on low-speed vehicle platforms, Bilse said.