Car Industry

Drive.ai launches second self-driving pilot program in Texas

Like the first one, the shuttles will be limited to a geofenced area.

You can practically see these vans from space. There's no mistaking them for anything else.

Drive.ai

At the end of July, Drive.ai launched its first autonomous pilot program in Frisco, Texas. But the world is not enough, so it's expanding to a second town in the Lone Star State.

Drive.ai has kicked off its second pilot program in Arlington, Texas. Available in Arlington's downtown district, the self-driving shuttles will move residents between various points in the district. It'll cover offices, restaurants and sporting events -- quick, short trips around town that are perfect for this kind of transportation.

Like its program in Frisco, the Arlington pilot is open to the public. Users can hail a ride from a few different fixed pick-up and drop-off locations around downtown Arlington, using a kiosk at the location or Drive.ai's app. Best of all, it's totally free.

It'll be hard to miss Drive.ai's fleet of self-driving vehicles. It relies on a fleet of Nissan NV200 small vans. They're equipped with all the requisite hardware on all sides of the vehicle, and the vans also carry screens on the front and sides to alert passengers to the van's intentions. That way, pedestrians will know the vehicle has acknowledged their presence at, say, a crosswalk. Safety drivers will be sitting in the driver's seat, just in case human intervention is required.

Drive.ai hasn't said where it's going next, but given how quickly it set up its Arlington program after it started in Frisco, odds are that the company already has its eyes set on expanding further.