PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND - A self-driving shuttle got pulled over by police on its first day carrying passengers on a new Rhode Island route. Providence Police Chief Hugh Clements said an officer pulled over the odd-looking autonomous vehicle because he had never seen one before. "It looked like an oversize golf cart," Clements said. The vehicle, operated by Michigan-based May Mobility, was dropping off passengers Wednesday morning at Providence's Olneyville Square when a police cruiser arrived with blinking lights and a siren. It was just hours after the public launch of a state-funded pilot for a shuttle service called "Little Roady."
A self-driving shuttle got pulled over by police on its first day carrying passengers on a new Rhode Island route. Providence Police Chief Hugh Clements says an officer pulled over the odd-looking autonomous vehicle because he had never seen one before. The bus-like vehicle operated by Michigan-based May Mobility was dropping off passengers Wednesday morning when a police cruiser arrived with blinking lights and a siren. It was just hours after the public launch of a state-funded pilot shuttle service. The shuttle offers free rides on a 12-stop urban loop.
Ariel Moore exhaled sharply and lifted her arms to the sky. "I have arrived alive!" she said to no one in particular. This should not be notable. Moore just took a half-mile ride in a six-seat shuttle, one of several that run in a loop between her office in downtown Detroit and the garage where she parks her car. But on that sunny June day, she and her colleagues at real estate company Bedrock also did something quietly remarkable.
"This is a very exciting day as we kick-off testing of autonomous vehicles, putting Rhode Island on the map as a leader in this new high-tech field in transportation. And we'll do it in a careful and safe manner partnering with institutions of higher education to carefully study and evaluate the service and its integration on Rhode Island roads," said Governor Gina Raimondo. The vehicles are being tested this week on low-volume roads in the park as the beginning phase of a pilot project scheduled to launch in Providence in the spring of 2019. The testing period in Quonset will be followed by similar testing in Providence, prior to the start of service. Between the two locations, the vehicles will undergo 500 miles of testing.
Elizabeth Keatinge tells us about Tesla's Autonomy Investor Day where robotaxis were discussed. Are robot taxi's really on the horizon? Tesla's aggressive (perhaps unrealistic) goal to launch a robotaxi network in 2020 was revealed by CEO Elon Musk on Monday as the company discussed plans toward a self-driving future. Under Musk's strategy, the electric car maker will enable owners to add their autonomous driving-capable vehicles to a Tesla ride-sharing app, which he described as a combination of Uber and Airbnb. "From our standpoint, if you fast forward a year – maybe a year and three months, but next year for sure – we'll have over a million robotaxis on the road," Musk told an audience on Monday.