ARLINGTON, Texas, Aug. 22, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The City of Arlington, Texas today announces the approval of a contract with California-based self-driving car company Drive.ai for a one-year pilot program to run autonomous vehicles to solve for real-world mobility needs. Starting Oct. 19, Arlington and Drive.ai plan to roll out a fleet of three self-driving three-passenger vans to provide a unique transportation option to Arlington residents and visitors within the city’s world-class Entertainment District.
“Drive.ai looks forward to the opportunity to bring our innovative self-driving technology to the City of Arlington. This forward-thinking, bustling city has unique transportation needs, and we plan to provide a last-mile transit solution within a vibrant entertainment district,” said Conway Chen, vice president of business strategy at Drive.ai. “Together with the city, we aim to reshape the way people experience transportation in Arlington, Texas.”
Increasingly recognized for its interest in exploring technology-based mobility solutions, the City of Arlington is now poised to become the first Texas city to offer on-street autonomous transportation service to both its residents and visitors. These self-driving vans will travel alongside other vehicles in a predetermined, geo-fenced area at speeds up to 35 miles per hour. Safety operators will be onboard during the initial phase of the pilot program, which will be used for day-to-day mobility needs for residents as well as to help visitors get to and from remote parking lots to AT&T Stadium, Globe Life Park and other venues.
“The City is excited to continue our exploration into new and innovative mobility solutions. Early testing of these technologically advanced solutions will prepare the City to take advantage of unique and efficient transportation options as they become available,” Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams said.
The initial pilot will run for one year and include three vehicles. If mutually agreed upon by the City and Drive.ai, that could increase to five vehicles at a later date. The program will be partially funded by a federal grant, with the remainder of funding coming from the City. The Drive.ai vans will be among the transportation technology showcased by cities from across the state during the three-day Texas Mobility Summit, which will be held in Arlington from Oct. 28-30.
This marks Drive.ai’s second self-driving pilot program in the state of Texas. Drive.ai takes a deeply collaborative approach to deploying self-driving programs by working with partners to ensure the service is practical and solves a transit need, that the cars and routes are optimized for safety, and that the community is well-educated and comfortable with the service.
More details about the program will be available closer to the program launch.
Drive.ai is a self-driving vehicle company transforming the relationship between people and transportation. The company uses a deep-learning-first approach to develop an integrated software and hardware solution that is both scalable and adaptable to a variety of vehicles and environments. Drive.ai works closely with public and private partners to deploy geofenced self-driving solutions that address transportation challenges and improve the state of mobility today. Founded in 2015 by graduate students out of Stanford University’s Artificial Intelligence Lab, Drive.ai has over 150 employees, with locations in Mountain View, California and Frisco, Texas.
About the City of Arlington
Arlington is The American Dream City because our competitive, can-do spirit makes dreams a reality. That spirit has been demonstrated many times over with big initiatives throughout the city’s history. Arlington, positioned at the center of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, is home to the Dallas Cowboys, the Texas Rangers, Six Flags Over Texas, D.R. Horton and a host of global, domestic and family-owned businesses. We are a City on the move, open to exploring innovative technology as part of our commitment to delivering valuable, cost-efficient services and to improving the quality of life for our citizens.