January 17, 2018

New driverless shuttles to hit the roads in Babcock Ranch

By: Vicki Parsons - IT

Published: January 12, 2018 6:26 PM EST

Driverless shuttles were test driven today in America’s only solar city. This comes one week after the first owners moved into their solar home in Babcock Ranch.

Passengers in these shuttles say they’re taking everything pretty slowly, but add that this technology might just be the future of mobility.

They’re called autonomous shuttles. And they’re one of many high tech amenities in Babcock Ranch.

“The vehicle has sort of a picture of what the surroundings look like, the GPS, and sensors can localize around that,” explained experts behind the project.

The route the shuttle take is pre-programmed and it will make stops around the community all by itself. It’s definitely turning some heads.

Velentina Riley hopped on for a sneak peak.

“It would be perfect public transportation anywhere in any city. You don’t need to look for a parking spot. It’s just convenient. You can be doing anything you want in this vehicle and be safe,” she said.

It can drive in any direction and stop when it detects anything in its path. The goal is to give homeowners a more efficient way to get around. Homeowners will be able to summon the shuttle with an app or text message and have it pick them up at their house to wherever they want to go.

Babcock Ranch officials say using the shuttle on its fixed route is free, but riders will have to pay a fee for the on-demand service. They’re still working on setting all the stops and prices, but plan to officially launch the service next week.