Self-Driving Car Service to Debut in Frisco, Texas in July
A self-driving car service is coming to residents in the North Texas city of Frisco. According to the Dallas Morning News, Drive.ai is an on demand self-driving car service set to debut in July 2018.
Drive AI will be operating in Frisco thanks to a unique partnership between Drive.ai, based in California, and the city of Frisco. The company has also partnered with the Denton County Transportation Authority, Hall Park, The Star and Frisco Station, to form the Frisco Transportation Management Association.
The move may come as a surprise to some, since the ride-hailing company Uber has been under scrutiny over recent months after a pedestrian was struck and killed by one their own self-driving cars.
49-year-old Elaine Herzberg was walking her bike across a road in Tempe, Arizona the night of March 18th when Uber’s self-driving Volvo SUV hit her going more than 40 miles per hour. Uber has blamed the accident on a bug in the car’s programming and the city of Arizona has since banned self-driving cars.
Perhaps in an effort to limit the possibility of similar accidents, Drive.ai will only be available initially to a certain number of employees in a given area of Frisco. More than 10,000 employees will have free access to the self-driving service through the company’s phone app for at least six months.
Drive.ai will only be transporting people working near Hall Park to retail and dining locations at The Star in Frisco, just a few miles away. The limited range of the self-driving service is meant to limit potential accidents and help the company test its service before it becomes open to the public at a later date.
Human drivers will be present inside the vehicles during the initial testing, prepared to take control of the orange Drive.ai vehicles at a moment’s notice. The company will also be working closely with Frisco law enforcement, first responders, and other local officials, to keep the public aware of the new service.
Drive.ai, touted as the first self-driving car service to open to the public, is set to begin service in Frisco, Texas, sometime in July 2018.