Driverless Van Trial Grows in Texas

An autonomous vehicle start-up has been given approval to roll out three of its vans in a Texan city on a one-year trial basis.

Following the introduction of the vans in the nearby city of Frisco last month, a fleet of three of Drive.ai’s three-passenger self-driving vans is to be introduced in Arlington as part of a year-long pilot program. The company claims the program will offer “a unique transportation option to Arlington residents and visitors within the city’s world-class Entertainment District”.

With the move, Drive.ai says Arlington hopes “to become the first Texas city to offer [an] on-street autonomous transportation service”. The vans will operate within a pre-determined, geo-fenced area, as is the case with the ongoing Frisco trial. Drive.ai says they “will be used for day-to-day mobility needs for residents as well as to help visitors get to and from remote parking lots”. The plan is for “safety operators” to be on-board the vans during the program’s initial stages only.

Arlington mayor Jeff Williams claims the trials “will prepare the city to take advantage of unique and efficient transportation options as they become available”.


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