Walt Disney World plans to deploy driverless shuttles at Florida theme parks

Los Angeles Times

Walt Disney World in Florida appears poised to launch the highest-profile commercial deployment of driverless passenger vehicles to date, testing a fleet of driverless shuttles that could cart passengers through parking lots and around its theme parks. According to sources with direct knowledge of Disney's plans, the company is in late-stage negotiation with at least two manufacturers of autonomous shuttles – Local Motors, based in Phoenix, and Navya, based in Paris. It's unclear whether contracts would go to both or just one of the companies. The sources, who asked not be identified to avoid offending Disney, said the company plans a pilot program later this year to transport employees in the electric-drive robot vehicles. If that goes well, they said, the shuttles would begin transporting park visitors sometime next year.


Self-driving cars let loose in California: Officials sign bill that lets vehicles travel without a human driver inside

Daily Mail - Science & tech

California is one step closer to making driverless cars a reality. A bill signed on Thursday gives self-driving vehicles the freedom to travel on public roads without steering wheels, brake pedals or accelerators and most importantly, without human drivers. However, the new legislation only applies to a pilot project by the Contra Costa Transportation Authority, who has chosen two sites in California for testing. A bill signed on Thursday gives self-driving the freedom to travel on public roads without steering wheels, brake pedals or accelerators and more importantly, without human drivers - such as the two shown testing Google' self-driving car A bill signed on Thursday gives self-driving vehicles the green light to travel on public roads without steering wheels, brake pedals or accelerators and most importantly, without human drivers. However, it only applies to a pilot project by the Contra Costa Transportation Authority, which has designated two sites for testing.


Walt Disney World plans to deploy driverless shuttles in Florida

#artificialintelligence

Walt Disney World in Florida appears poised to launch the highest-profile commercial deployment of driverless passenger vehicles to date, testing a fleet of driverless shuttles that could cart passengers through parking lots and around its theme parks. According to sources with direct knowledge of Disney's plans, the company is in late-stage negotiation with at least two manufacturers of autonomous shuttles – Local Motors, based in Phoenix, and Navya, based in Paris. It's unclear whether contracts would go to both or just one of the companies. The sources, who asked not be identified to avoid offending Disney, said the company plans a pilot program later this year to transport employees in the electric-drive robot vehicles. If that goes well, they said, the shuttles would begin transporting park visitors sometime next year.


Bringing on Self-Driving Cars Means Knowing How Humans Ride

WIRED

What do you look like when you're excited? If you happen to hop on one of the two very special shuttles that are now running one-mile loops around the University of Michigan's North Campus, a bunch of people with fancy degrees may very soon find out. Those shuttles, you see, will drive themselves. And these researchers are affiliated with the University of Michigan, the marketing firm JD Power, and Navya, the French maker of autonomous vehicle tech. They're going to spend the next year studying how humans interact with, use, and feel about the autonomous vehicles, with the help of rider and community surveys, Wi-Fi data, and camera footage from inside and outside the vehicle.


5 Companies Working On Driverless Shuttles And Buses

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Want to receive a weekly deep dive into all things auto, transportation, & logistics tech? Click here to subscribe to our auto tech newsletter. Momentum in auto tech is at an all-time high, with investors funding private startups in the field at a record pace. Of course, much of the buzz has revolved around autonomous driving software, with startups like Zoox seeing $200M funding rounds, tech corporates looking to capitalize, and major automakers working feverishly to catch up. Validating the reliability of fully autonomous vehicles will be no small feat, with RAND estimating that tens or hundreds of billions of test miles might have to be driven to properly gauge their safety.