January 16, 2018

Babcock Ranch testing 1 of 65 driverless shuttles worldwide

By: Vicki Parsons - IT

Posted: Jan 16, 2018 7:59 AM EST



There are only 65 automated shuttles in the world, and now Babcock Ranch is home to one of them.

The driverless vehicles is the first of its kind in Southwest Florida. The community itself is run on solar power.

The self-driving vehicle runs 25 mph, operates through a GPS, and seats six passengers. The shuttle also has eight sensors to detect its surroundings.

The owners of Babcock Ranch hope this is just the beginning of a futuristic town.

The ranch is now allowing passengers to use the shuttle with an operator on standby during a trial run.

In case of an emergency, the shuttle is equipped with an “S.O.S” button. If a passenger pressed the button, a dispatcher would appear via video in the shuttle to help solve the problem.

Babcock Ranch plans to add several more automated shuttles following the current test run.

The ultimate goal is to have the shuttles run like an Uber. Ideally, a mobile app would allow users to request a ride, just like current ride-sharing services.