FRISCO, Texas - A fleet of self-driving vans started picking up and dropping off passengers in Frisco Monday.
A company called Drive.ai launched the service in the area around Hall Park and The Star, the Dallas Cowboys' new headquarters with shops and restaurants. People can now request a ride with a smartphone app.
The bright-orange vans operate on public roads. But they are clearly labeled and have a very limited service area with pre-determined pickup and drop-off areas.
“Frisco is recognized as a leader in using ‘smart,’ innovative traffic technologies,” Frisco Mayor Jeff Cheney said when the project was announced in May. “Drive.ai’s autonomous vehicles will help people get around one of our most vibrant, commercial areas along Frisco’s North Platinum Corridor.”
“Self-driving cars are here, and can improve the way we live right now,” said Sameep Tandon,
the 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.”
For now, the rides are free and a safety driver is on board in each van. But Drive.ai hopes to phase them out over time and add more destinations.
The pilot program in Frisco will last for six months.