Salem Radio Network News Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Science

Argo launches non-commercial driverless vehicles in Miami, Austin

By Tina Bellon

AUSTIN (Reuters) – Self-driving startup Argo AI on Tuesday said it had launched driverless vehicles in Miami, Florida and Austin, Texas, but added the vehicles initially were used for in-house testing, with commercial applications following at an unspecified time.

Argo, which is backed by Ford Motor Co and Volkswagen AG, has tested its robotaxis on public roads in both cities for several years, but until today included safety drivers behind the wheel.

“Argo is first to go driverless in two major American cities, safely operating amongst heavy traffic, pedestrians and bicyclists in the busiest of neighborhoods,” Argo AI Chief Executive Bryan Salesky said in a statement.

The company allows ride-hail, delivery and logistics companies to integrate its driverless vehicles into their operations.

An Argo AI spokeswoman said ride-hail service Lyft Inc and grocery giant Walmart Inc were running pilot programs integrating the technology.

“Our driverless operations are initially focused on conducting employee rides using our internally-developed ride hailing test app,” the spokeswoman said. “We’ll integrate driverless into commercial operations at the appropriate time.”

(Reporting by Tina Bellon in Austin, Texas)

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