May 7, 2018
The booming North Texas city of Frisco is reportedly set to get the nation's first self-driving car service.
The service, reported Monday by The Dallas Morning News, will first be accessible in July for roughly 10,000 employees working in a bevy of corporate offices located less than a mile away from The Star, a retail and dining area that also serves as headquarters for the Dallas Cowboys. The service will also be free for the first six months.
The California-based Drive.ai, which is part of a public-private partnership with the city and the Denton County Transportation Authority, among others, is handling all costs involved in the project, though that dollar amount is not being made public.
The first round of trips, the Morning News reported, will have a human present in the driver's seat. Self-driving cars will eventually be allowed to transport passengers on their own, with remote assistance ready to help if needed.
Frisco and the city of Plano, which are both in Collin County, have become major job hubs in recent years for the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Plano pays sales taxes into the Dallas-area Rapid Transit, which has the longest light rail network in North America — but doesn't have tracks near the flourishing part of the county.
Last year, Texas was one of 10 states approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation to let companies pilot automated technology in vehicles. According to the Morning News, Arlington is already running a trial program for autonomous shuttles.
This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2018/05/07/driverless-car-service-set-begin-north-texas-summer/.
Texas Tribune mission statement
The Texas Tribune is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.