It may be Halloween season, but it’s not a ghost driving that car.
About 125 autonomous vehicles are currently operating in Austin — and chances are, you’ve seen one on the roads.
As one of the top tech hubs in the US, the Capital City was tapped as one of the prime markets for testing out driverless cars. Here’s what to know.
How do autonomous vehicles work?
Every AV operates differently, but most operate using cameras, radar, and lidar sensors, in addition to GPS.
Which companies have AVs in Austin?
There are more than a dozen companies either currently operating or planning to launch AVs in Austin. Some — like Torc, Waabi, and Kodiak — are geared toward trucking and freighting, and others like Gatik and Starship operate delivery services.
Then, there are passenger AVs, meant to transport humans. The businesses working to offer this in ATX include:
- Cruise | Now offering public rides
- Lyft | Now offering public rides
- Waymo | Launching public rides soon
- Volkswagen | Currently testing vehicles
How can I ride in an AV?
First thing’s first, although the safety of autonomous vehicles have been significantly tested, they are still involved in accidents, including some reported in Austin.
Cruise, which is currently offering public rides to Austinites with an invite code (you can join a waitlist through the app to get a code of your own) is under investigation for two recent incidents. State law currently prevents cities from regulating AVs.
Lyft also offers autonomous rides when available through its normal app service.