LAS VEGAS (KXNT) – Las Vegas residents and visitors will be among the first in the nation to jump on a public transit vehicle – only to find there’s no driver aboard.
The city of Las Vegas debuted the first completely autonomous, fully electric shuttle ever to be deployed on a public roadway in the United States Tuesday. The shuttle is being launched in the new Innovation District that was recently created by the city in downtown Las Vegas.
Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman and other local officials were at today’s ceremony marking the debut of NAVYA’s ARMA vehicle on an American public street in downtown Las Vegas’ Fremont East Entertainment District.
During the week-long pilot, the public will be invited to take free test rides of the driverless vehicle, which carries up to a dozen passengers and was designed for use by state and local governments and transit agencies and operators as an efficient, clean-energy alternative to the fossil-fuel powered vehicles of today.
The pilot was made possible through a partnership between Keolis, a global leader in operating public transportation systems, and NAVYA, which developed the ARMA Shuttle. The public will be able to ride on the shuttle Jan. 11-20, as it travels along east Fremont Street between Las Vegas Boulevard and Eighth Street, with regular street traffic.
The city recently established an Innovation District in downtown Las Vegas to create a center for testing groundbreaking technology in the areas of alternative energy, citizen participation, transportation and social infrastructure.
The city plans to transform the downtown urban core into a technology incubator focused on safe, efficient, sustainable and environmentally conscious mobility including autonomous and connected vehicles and establishing a platform for deploying innovation.
“The city of Las Vegas is on the cutting edge of technology and innovation, building on the strong tech foundation provided by SWITCH and Nellis Air Force Base,” Mayor Goodman said. “The city of Las Vegas is making major investments to improve motorist mobility and safety, provide reliable transportation choices and showcase technology in downtown Las Vegas, and we are thrilled Keolis is taking us a step in that direction.”