Arlington is now the second North Texas city to partner with Drive.ai to offer an autonomous vehicles in the city.
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 in the city’s Entertainment District.
Starting Oct. 19, Arlington and Drive.ai plan to roll out a fleet of three self-driving three-passenger vans to provide a transportation option to Arlington residents and visitors within the 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.”
The initial pilot will run for one year and include three vehicles. That number could increase to five vehicles at a later day if the city and the company agree on the increase.
The program will be partially funded by a federal grant, with the remainder of funding coming from the City. 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 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. In May, Drive.ai, the City of Frisco and local partners announced the launch the first on-demand self-driving transportation service in Texas that began in July. Mountain View, California-based Drive.ai was founded in 2015 by graduate students from Stanford University’s Artificial Intelligence Lab. It has over 100 employees, with locations in Mountain View and Frisco. Drive.ai has raised about $77 million in funding, including a $15 million investment in September from Grab, a rival to Uber based in Asia.