Drive.ai’s coming expansion of its self-driving car pilot to Arlington, Texas, isn’t its first driverless rodeo.
But the testing, taking place between Dallas and Fort Worth, will validate its vehicles’ ability to handle a crowded entertainment district and process all the data that comes with it.
After launching its maiden pilot in nearby Frisco in July, Drive.ai said it would extend its ride-hailing trial to the south, with three autonomous vans offering free rides to Arlington residents and visitors for one year, starting Oct. 19.
“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, in a statement. “Together with the city, we aim to reshape the way people experience transportation in Arlington, Texas.”
The vans, which use NVIDIA’s high-performance compute technology, will operate within a geo-fenced area, traveling up to 35 miles per hour with human supervisors onboard for the initial phase. The service will focus on residents’ daily short-term trips, as well as ferry those attending events at AT&T Stadium, Global Life Park and other venues to and from faraway parking lots.
A Friendly Face in the Crowd
Most self-driving test vehicles tend to attract the eyes of passersby with their Frankenstein looks. Drive.ai vehicles shout for pedestrian attention with a bright orange paint job and light-up signs. The colorful look helps the vehicle communicate its intentions with pedestrians and other vehicles when there’s no driver at the wheel, ensuring safe operation in high-traffic areas.
Frisco residents have already embraced the autonomous test vehicles that rolled into town earlier this summer. In their first five days, they carried more than 150 people in over 100 trips, and have since operated hundreds of rides.
These services help consumers learn about autonomous driving up close, offering a sneak peak into a self-driving future.
“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 in a statement.
Computing Horsepower Fit for a Rodeo
From traffic to pedestrians to bicyclists to Dallas Cowboy fans, autonomous vehicles must process vast amounts of data to safely operate without a human driver. To help tackle this challenge, Drive.ai leverages NVIDIA hardware onboard its test vehicles.
With the ability to handle massive amounts of processing near instantaneously, while taking up little space and power within the vehicle, NVIDIA autonomous driving solutions help make services like Drive.ai’s a reality.
A powerful combination of striking design and high-performance, energy-efficient computing capabilities, Drive.ai autonomous vehicles will surely give traveling Texans something else to remember.