Texas people will enjoy the autonomous ride as the Calif.-based start-up planning to launch a self-driving car service on public roads in a corridor of the Dallas area that is full of office buildings where traffic is a growing problem. The company will launch a six-month pilot program which will keep human safety operators behind the wheel and ready to grab control if the car gets confused or misbehaves this summer.
Drive.ai said in the statement that the pilot programs will offer rides to 10,000 people through a smartphone app and the service will have fixed pickup and drop-off locations through an area of Frisco.
Drive.ai’s announcement comes amid concern over the safety of autonomous vehicles after two high-profile fatalities and now Government officials are demanding greater accountability. The pilot program will look like more like an airport shuttle than a taxi service.
An artificial intelligence expert, Andrew Ng said, “Office workers can grab lunch without having to drive and look for parking, and local businesses owners can attract more customers.” Further, he added, “A self-driving service will boost local commerce, reduce traffic jams, and lessen the need for parking lots.”
Drive.ai hasn’t revealed any details but it said riders will have access to the app that allows them to hail at no charge ferrying them to destinations along with driverless van’s fixed routes. Drive.ai said its self-driving service will begin in July with human “safety drivers” who will call human insight” in certain circumstances.
Drive.ai co-founder and president Carol Reiley said, “We need to be able to communicate in all directions, and we need to be able to show intention and have a conversation with the other players on the road.”