Drive.AI has launched a free self-driving car service in Arlington, Texas. “In Arlington, we are launching three different services,” said Drive.AI CEO Bijit Halde. “One for the game day, one for lunchtime service, and one that connects the Convention Center to Texas Live, the entertainment part of the city.”
“Today, we started with three cars with the potential to expand as the need of the community grows,” noted Halde.
Halde says that “they will be the same type of cars we had in Frisco, Texas, part of the Dallas-Fort Worth area.” He noted that it’s just a beginning and that the small size of the launch is only one way of looking at it. “We want to be very careful and deliberate because safety is of utmost concern. Also, user acceptability is a core concern. We start small and grow fast.”
Riders will pay nothing Halde says and anyone in that area can access this service. Halde added, “In Frisco, we only had a mobile app. In Arlington, we have a mobile app and walk up kiosks where you can type in your name and phone number to get picked up.”
Halde explained that the company feels there are three factors to success with launching a self-driving ride-hailing service. One, can we safely deploy? But driving is not just one problem. The other factors are driving in the city and driving on the freeways. Drive.AI considers those as two distinct problems.
“We want to make sure that we take a small problem and solve it and then grow from there,” said Halde. “We don’t want to push the technology when the people aren’t ready.”