Self-driving cars roll into Frisco: 7 things to know about Drive.ai's autonomous ride-hailing service

Drive.ai launches self-driving cars in Frisco.

Drive.ai launches self-driving cars in Frisco.

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Drive.ai launched its self-driving car service in Frisco this week. The six-month pilot program will transport passengers within a geofenced area.

Here are seven facts you need to know about this program:

  1. The program starts with fixed pickup and drop-off locations around Hall Park and The Star, with a planned expansion to Frisco Station.

  2. People can gain access to Drive.ai’s ride-hailing smartphone app to hail complimentary on-demand rides in the self-driving cars.

  3. The pilot program starts out with four bright orange Nissan NV200 vans that run in a tightly geofenced area—virtual geographic boundary—along fixed routes.

  4. The pilot program will be monitored in phases. It will start with a driver at the wheel monitoring how the vehicle is running, then eventually the driver will be removed, and a chaperone will be in the passenger seat assisting passengers and monitoring operations. The chaperone will eventually go away as well, and the car will continue to be monitored remotely.

  5. The vehicles have four LED screens that will communicate with pedestrians and other drivers about what the self-driving cars are doing. The screens will display messages such as "waiting for you to cross" and "passengers entering/exiting."

  6. Drive.ai has deployed telechoice technology to add another layer of safety. The technology helps the vehicle if it encounters a problem. Through telechoice the operator can control the car directly.

  7. The pilot program is a collaboration between Drive.ai and the Frisco Transportation Management Association—a public-private partnership between the city of Frisco, Denton County Transportation Authority, Hall Group, Frisco Station Partners and The Star in Frisco.

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