California-based self-driving car company Drive.ai will launch a pilot program to bring an on-demand, self-driving car service to Frisco, Texas beginning in July, the company announced today.
Drive.ai will offer rides to over 10,000 people in self-driving vehicles within a geofenced area comprised of retail, entertainment, and office space. The company is partnering with the Frisco Transportation Management Association (TMA).
The initial pilot will run for six months, beginning with fixed pickup and drop-off locations around HALL Park and The Star, and with planned expansion into Frisco Station. This program is a milestone for the State of Texas, marking the first time members of the public will have access to an on-demand, self-driving car service on public roads.
This pilot program is a model for the deployment of self-driving vehicles in a public setting, one of the first of its kind in the nation, and a major step forward for the industry. Drive.ai’s self-driving, on-demand service will be operated in conjunction with Frisco TMA, a public-private partnership dedicated to bringing innovative last-mile transportation options to the growing population of Frisco.
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Leading up to the July launch date, office employees, residents, and patrons of TMA's partners will gradually on-board into the program, gaining access to Drive.ai’s ride-hailing smartphone app. Once the program is live, riders will use the app to hail complimentary on-demand rides in self-driving cars that connect to popular destinations in one of Frisco’s most lively areas.
“Frisco is recognized as a leader in using ‘smart,’ innovative traffic technologies,” said Frisco Mayor Jeff Cheney. “Drive.ai’s autonomous vehicles will help people get around one of our most vibrant, commercial areas along Frisco’s North Platinum Corridor. Today definitely marks a mobility milestone for our entire region. It also gets us closer to achieving one of our council’s ‘Top Ten’ goals, which is to improve traffic throughout Frisco...”
Drive.ai is dedicated to partnering with cities and transit authorities to safely deploy self-driving technologies in a scalable, measured way. Leading up to the July launch, Drive.ai will work with its partners to engage with members of the Frisco community, ensuring they are educated about and comfortable with the self-driving program.
In addition, informational signage will be placed throughout the route, the vehicles will be painted a highly-visible orange, and they will feature four external screens that communicate the vehicles’ intended actions to pedestrians and other drivers on the roads.
“Self-driving cars are here, and can improve the way we live right now,” said Sameep Tandon, co-founder and CEO of Drive.ai. “Our technology is safe, smart, and adaptive, and we are ready to work with governments and businesses to solve their transportation needs. Working with the City of Frisco and Frisco TMA, this pilot program will take people to the places they want to go and transform the way they experience transportation.”
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Originally posted on Auto Rental News