Driverless Shuttle Service Starts Today In Arlington

Andrew Greenstein
October 19, 2018 - 6:36 am
Self Driving Car

Credit: Andrew Greenstein, 1080 KRLD

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ARLINGTON (1080 KRLD) - Starting today, weather permitting, you can take a new driverless shuttle within Arlington's Entertainment District.

The service includes a fleet of four Nissan NV200 vans retrofitted with autonomous technology that allows them to see everything around them and react accordingly.

The vehicles seat up to three passengers and travel along city streets at speeds of up to 35 MPH.

Drive.ai CEO Bijit Halder says he's excited to bring the technology to Arlington. "We really think that this will really solve your mobility problem, whether you're going for lunch or going to watch a game," says Halder.

Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams test-rode one of the vans yesterday and is excited about what they will bring to the city. "This is an opportunity actually to be making transportation safer and to increase the quality of life for our residents," says Mayor Williams.

The service area has five stops -- the Arlington Convention Center, AT&T Stadium, Texas Live!, Globe Life Park and the CenterPoint office complex.

The shuttles are available throughout the service area on non-game days between 11:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays. During Cowboys games, the service only runs between the CenterPoint and AT&T Stadium stops, and it will operate from two hours before kickoff to one hour after the end of the game.

The City of Arlington says service would be suspended during any inclement weather beyond a light rain to ensure safety.

People hail one of the autonomous vehicles either at a kiosk at one of the five stops or by using a mobile app.

The best part for passengers is that the service is free of charge.The City of Arlington is investing $400,000 for the one-year pilot program, which Mayor Williams calls a "nominal fee."

"If we were putting in light rail, it would be costing $50 million a mile," Mayor Williams notes.

Even though the vehicles are completely autonomous, there will be a safety driver in the driver's seat for the time being - just in case.