Driverless vehicles are hitting the pavement in more and more cities across the globe.
Paris this week kicked off a three-month test of self-driving buses. At least two of the boxy-looking vehicles have been deployed so far in a special lane connecting two train stations, according to Agent France Presse. The goal is to someday have autonomous buses parked near overland train stations to shuffle travelers to and from their suburban homes, says Paris transportation head Elisabeth Borne.
Paris is hardly the only city taking the wheel on self-driving vehicles, 10 million of which are expected to be on roads in the next three years, according to some estimates.
As urban centers look to a future with fewer traffic deaths and street congestion, here are three American cities where driverless cars or buses are being tested on public roads right now.
Earlier this month, Las Vegas tested an autonomous bus along a three-block route of Fremont Street. Made by French company Navya, the bus is equipped with sensors to sniff out obstacles and comes with an emergency button that passengers can use to stop the vehicle. The city’s gamble on driverless technology fits into a broader effort to develop an innovation district. Nevada as a whole is placing its bets on transportation technology, serving as the home to Tesla’s new gigafactory as well as Hyperloop One testing facilities.
Boston is in the early days of testing a driverless car from Cambridge, Mass.-based NuTonomy in a South Boston park. While the test is confined to certain conditions right now (the car must be driven only during daylight and good weather conditions), it can expand once certain milestones are met, according to the Boston Globe. After 100 miles of drive time, it can be driven at night and in bad weather. After another 100 miles, the car can move beyond the three miles of park roads and onto other roads in Boston.
Google’s Waymo began testing self-driving cars on public roads in the city of Chandler this past August. Other automakers have followed: Ford and GM-owned Cruise Automation are testing in other cities in Arizona, and Uber recently moved its self-driving cars to Phoenix after facing backlash in San Francisco.