ORLANDO, Fla. - The City of Orlando is launching two autonomous buses for people to try out this summer.
Orlando's Creative Village near downtown was chosen to showcase the driverless vehicles. Partnering with Lake Nona-based company, Beep, people will be able to ride for free starting in a couple of months.
"It’s going to be an opportunity for people to go from Lynx Central Station, over to Creative Village, to Bob Carr, to Downtown UCF and Valencia Campuses," said Tanya Wilder, Orlando's director of transportation.
The city recently approved $500,000 for the pilot program and hopes it could eventually expand to other parts of the city like Ivanhoe and SODO. The 100% electric buses are already being tested in Lake Nona and in programs in other states.
There will be an attendant on every bus, and the company says they won't travel much faster than 15 miles per hour. Officials hope people will use the buses to bridge the gap between existing public transit options.
"When you bring this type of autonomous mobility into new communities that have never experienced it, we get high percentage rider adoption, but also a good understanding of where the technology is and where it’s going," said Raquel Asa, the chief marketing officer at Beep.
The pilot will fun from late August until April.