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Jacksonville Open to Automated Vehicles

The Florida city is discussing bringing both public and private driverless modes of transportation to the city.

Tags: Trends

December 14, 2016

​JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville, Fla., has seen the future, and it’s driverless vehicles, the Florida Times-Union reports. Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) has been in talks with autonomous vehicle makers about bringing driverless modes of transportation to the city for a demonstration. JTA CEO Nathaniel Ford said the city hopes to have a pilot program in automated driving within two years.

“I would love to develop some sort of a pilot program [with an autonomous shuttle], but that is in the early stages of how that will work,” said Brad Thoburn, JTA vice president of planning, development and innovation.

Other cities and companies have tested autonomous shuttles for public transportation. Tesla, BMW and Google are also testing driverless cars. For now, Jacksonville is looking into the technology available and what would be feasible for JTA to transition to autonomous vehicles within its current Skyway rail system. 

“Technology is going to disrupt transportation over the next five to 10 years,” Thoburn said. “The technology is happening faster than we realize.”

In October, Uber’s self-driving truck, Otto, delivered a cargo of beer safely during a 120-mile road trip in Colorado.