US retirement village to have 'largest' self-driving taxi scheme

From BBC - January 11, 2018

One of America's largest retirement villages will have a fleet of self-driving taxis introduced next year.

US firm Voyage said it will start rolling out the service at The Villages, Florida which is home to 125,000 senior residents.

It said the scheme, spanning 750 miles of road, would be the "largest by area size" in the world.

It comes as safety concerns about self-driving cars persist after testing problems and some accidents.

Voyage already operates a handful of driverless taxis at another retirement community in San Jose, California, also called the Villages, but said it had begun testing vehicles in Florida ahead of a much larger roll-out.

Once the scheme is fully operational, it said all residents would be able to summon a self-driving car using its mobile app.

"[Then they can] travel anywhere within the bounds of the community fully autonomously," it said.

The sprawling Villages encompasses three distinct downtown areas, more than 100 dining options, eight major supermarkets and 7.8 million sq ft of commercial real estate.

It has also attracted controversy following reports about a raucous nightlife and public displays of debauchery.

Most experts agree robot cars will first be deployed as fleets of self-driving taxis in controlled environments such as university campuses, business parks or retirement communities.


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