Via launches first autonomous vehicle service

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US mobility technology firm Via has launched its first public autonomous vehicle (AV) service.

BusBot aims to solve an issue many AV companies conveniently overlook: congestion and cost

BusBot aims to solve an issue many AV companies conveniently overlook: congestion and cost

Run in partnership with local bus operator Busways, Transport for NSW, and AV technology provider EasyMile, the BusBot service is being run for a community in New South Wales, Australia and marks a milestone for Via.

The service operates in the same way as other shared services run in partnership with Via globally; using the BusBot app, users can hail the autonomous BusBot directly from their smartphone and are then directed to a nearby virtual bus stop for pick up and drop off. However, the service is fully autonomous and is being run as a pilot programme, providing free rides to users over 22 weeks.

“If autonomous vehicles are to reach their full potential for providing low-cost, efficient rides, they need to be shared by multiple passengers,” said Daniel Ramot, co-founder and CEO of Via. “Via’s sophisticated systems are able to power, in real-time, the movement of millions of connected autonomous shuttles and their passengers, and we’re delighted to be working with BusBot to launch this groundbreaking service.”

 

 

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.