Remember watching The Jetsons as a kid? Didn’t it look like it would be so relaxing flying around in a self driving vehicle? I mean you could be texting a friend, reading a book, eating a sandwich – and the self-driving vehicle would just deliver you to your destination! Well, we don’t have ‘Rosie the Robot’ housekeepers – yet. Check out how Arlington Goes Space Age with Self-Driving Car.
And I was there!
It was a cold February morning in Arlington, but that didn’t stop Arlington officials and the public alike, from stopping by to try out a self-driving vehicle for the first time. Easy Mile’s EZ-10 looks like a cross between a red boxy car, and a very small trolley. And I was surprised at how roomy the inside was. Built in France, the EZ-10 can actually fit 12 passengers at a time -six in seats, and additional six people standing.
Boarding the self-driving vehicle for the first time was exciting, but it also felt kind of reckless! After all, there is no one driving. No steering wheel, and no brakes. But the truth – is that this ride feels totally safe, and totally sedate! My ride took 5 minutes, and by the end of that time I felt like I’d been riding self-driving vehicles my whole life! I was living the life of The Jetsons – but whatever. Just another Thursday morning in Arlington, Texas right? 😉
Currently, most cities don’t allow self-driving vehicles on public roads. So until laws governing these new kinds of vehicles get on the books, you aren’t likely to see self-driving vehicles rolling down the Texas highway. But self driving vehicles like the EZ-10 can already be used at private venues. Think shuttles going from a stadium to a far away parking lot. A way for students, to travel across a vast campus. Or maybe – a way for amusement park or fair goers, to get from one side of the park, to the other? The uses are endless.
Driver less shuttles just like the one being previewed in Arlington, are already in full use in other countries like Japan and Norway. So there is reason to hope that Arlington might make use of similar technology in the future. And after riding in the EZ-10 myself, I really hope we see self driving vehicles in Arlington sooner, rather than later.
Interested in hearing about some of the safety features of the EZ-10 as well as seeing some video of my driver-less ride? Just check out the video of my Self-Driving Car Ride.
It turns out, The Jetsons were really on to something. I’m so grateful that The Alliance for Transportation Innovation brought the EZ-10 to Arlington, along with Transdev and Splunk -during it’s 2017 autonomous vehicle cross country road trip. I learned a lot about self-driving vehicles and all their possible applications for our city. And I was excited to see Arlington officials enthusiastic to learn about this kind of technology.
Another way Arlington, is truly alive with the American dream.