First public transport with autonomous vehicles worldwide
Is autonomous driving closer than we thought? In any case, this could become reality in public transport in the future. Former Stanford students have started a small business that has seen some groundbreaking successes.
The California-based startup "drive.ai" from Silicon Valley offers a taxi service on public roads since early last week, which is operated exclusively by autonomous driving vehicles. The pilot program is expected to run for half a year and will be implemented in the US city of Frisco, Texas. The project is the result of a collaboration between "drive.ai" and the "Texas Transportation Management Association".
Four "Nissan NV200" are used, which have purely electric drives, but are still accompanied by a respective security driver to be able to intervene quickly in an emergency. If the project gets through the entire test phase without relevant incidents, the cars will ultimately carry out their journeys completely without human safety assistance.
The project, as the only one of its kind in the U.S.A., marks a significant milestone in the use of autonomous public transport vehicles, according to the official press release of "drive.ai".
drive.ai - A small company performs pioneering work in the transport sector
Drive.ai, based in the Californian “Tech Mecca”, Mountain View was founded in 2015 and emerged from a project originally initiated by the world-renowned AI research center "Stanford Artificial Intelligence Lab". One of the two founders, Andrew Ng, is considered a leader in AI research and was chief developer of the Chinese tech giant Baidu for a long time before helping to build the Google brain project. He then founded "drive.ai" together with 'Sameep Tandon'.