Fully self-driving cars tested on public roads in Texas
California-based self-driving car company Drive.ai has announced that it is operating fully driverless vehicles, without safety drivers in the driver seat, on public roads in the city of Frisco, Texas, USA. The cars are operating as part of a test that the company is running in preparation for the launch of an autonomous ride-hailing service, planned for July 2018. While the test cars operate in an autonomous mode, a safety driver is on board, on the passenger’s seat ((as opposed to the driver seat), ready to take control of the car if needed. Moreover, the operation of the cars are monitored by remote operators who can also step in if the vehicle needs guidance. The company’s plans to launch an on-demand self-driving car service were announced in early May and will involve an initial six-month pilot beginning with fixed pickup and drop-off locations within a determined area in Frisco. Drive.ai explained that in the initial phase of the service, safety drivers would be on board, in the driver’s seat. This will change gradually, to having the driver on the passenger’s seat, and eventually, to having no driver on board, but still monitoring the car remotely.