Self-Driving Electric Shuttle Bus Testing In Las Vegas

High- and low-rollers alike can catch a free ride on a self-driving shuttle bus by pushing a button in the Fremont Street entertainment district of downtown Las Vegas.

The small oval-shaped shuttle, made by French company Navya and named Arma, has a human attendant, but no steering wheel or brake pedal.

Using GPS, electronic curb sensors and additional technology, the Arma doesn’t need lane lines to make its way along busy Fremont Street between Las Vegas Boulevard and Eighth Street — right in the thick of regular traffic.

The Arma holds 12 passengers, and can reach a top speed 27 mph however, it will only drive up to 12 mph during the two-week test period, the Las Vegas Sun reported.

The vehicle has a range of about 90 miles for each electric charge and take about five to eight hours to recharge.

Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman was one of the first passengers to take a ride on the battery-electric shuttle.

“The ride was smooth. It’s clean and quiet and seats comfortably,” she said.

The test is part of Las Vegas’ larger efforts to create a designated area in the city’s urban center for testing autonomous and connected cars.

SEE ALSO: Electric Self-Driving EZ10 Buses Are Tootling Along Streets in Helsinki

The city has also invested significantly in connected infrastructure, including connecting traffic lights throughout the downtown area.

The Arma and its services will cost about $10,000 per month to operate, Navya vice president Henri Coron told the Sun.

Downtown businesses have already expressed interest in advertising on the inside screen on the bus, and even paying to have stops near their business, which could cover most of the cost.

Las Vegas isn’t the first city to test autonomous driving shuttles. Two self-driving buses tested in San Ramon, CA. in October 2015, and an autonomous shuttle bus called Olli hit the streets in Washington DC and Miami in June of last year.

Since first testing the Navya Arma in France in late 2015, the vehicles have transported more than 100,000 people, and the fleet has grown to 30 in number and been in use in seven countries around the world, including the United States.

Las Vegas Sun 


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