Via Arlington customers can now select to be picked up in a self-driving vehicle for trips around downtown and The University of Texas at Arlington.
The Arlington RAPID pilot program, available to riders through the Via app, is the first in the U.S. to integrate on-demand autonomous vehicles into an existing public transportation service.
A fleet of five self-driving vehicles, including a wheelchair-accessible vehicle, is available to book from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday for destinations within the RAPID service area, which includes the Downtown Library, City Hall, UTA and numerous restaurants, offices and businesses.
The City of Arlington is operating RAPID (Rideshare, Automation and Payment Integration Demonstration) in partnership with Via, the leader in TransitTech, May Mobility, a leader in autonomous technology and fleet services, and UT Arlington through a grant provided by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA).
The goal of the Arlington RAPID project is to provide a blueprint for combining on-demand rideshare and autonomous technologies to develop effective, efficient, safe and accessible transportation for all riders. In addition to improving public transportation options in Arlington, lessons learned from Arlington RAPID will be shared widely to help other communities throughout the nation seeking to combine rideshare and autonomous technologies.
“Arlington has developed a reputation around the country as one of the most innovative cities exploring technology-based mobility solutions and the testing of autonomous vehicles,” said Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams. “We’re excited to take the next step in this process with our partners May Mobility, Via and UT Arlington, as we explore the latest self-driving vehicle technology on our roads in the downtown area.”
Via’s technology will power booking, routing, passenger and vehicle assignment and identification, customer experience and fleet management, in coordination with May Mobility’s expertise in autonomous vehicle technology. The result will be a highly integrated, and autonomous, shared-ride system.
“The City of Arlington continues to be at the forefront of...