On May 7, California-based self-driving car company Drive.ai announced a pilot program to bring an on-demand self-driving car service to Frisco, TX, beginning in July 2018.
Working in cooperation with the Frisco Transportation Management Association (TMA), Drive.ai will offer rides to more than 10,000 people in self-driving vehicles within a geofenced area comprising retail, entertainment and office space. The initial pilot will run for six months, beginning with fixed pick-up and drop-off locations around HALL Park and The Star with planned expansion into Frisco Station. This program is a milestone for the state of Texas, marking the first time members of the public will have access to an on-demand self-driving car service on public roads.
This pilot program is a model for the deployment of self-driving vehicles in a public setting---one of the first of its kind in the nation---and a major step forward for the industry. Drive.ai’s self-driving on-demand service will be operated in conjunction with Frisco TMA, a public-private partnership dedicated to bringing innovative last-mile transportation options to the growing population of Frisco, TX. The Frisco TMA includes the City of Frisco, HALL Group, Frisco Station Partners, The Star and the Denton County Transportation Authority, which will administer the program.
Leading up to the July launch date, office employees, residents and patrons of these partners’ Frisco developments will gradually onboard into the program, gaining access to Drive.ai’s ride-hailing smartphone app. Once the program is live, riders will use the app to hail complimentary on-demand rides in self-driving cars that connect to popular destinations in one of Frisco’s most lively areas.
“Frisco is recognized as a leader in using ‘smart,’ innovative traffic technologies,” said Frisco Mayor Jeff Cheney. “Drive.ai’s autonomous vehicles will help people get around one of our most vibrant commercial areas along Frisco’s ‘North Platinum Corridor.’ We applaud the collaboration of the Denton County Transportation Authority, as well as our private partners at HALL Park, Frisco Station and The Star, which gave the green light, so to speak, to this pioneering pilot program. Today definitely marks a mobility milestone for our entire region. It also gets us closer to achieving one of our council’s ‘Top Ten’ goals, which is to improve traffic throughout Frisco, one of the fastest-growing cities in the country.”