California’s Beverly Hills City Council has voted — unanimously — to build up a fleet of autonomous cars that will be used to provide an on-demand transport service in the area.
The Hollywood Reporter explains that the microcosm that is Beverley Hills wants to run a set of self-driving cars that would be used to provide public transportation. “Beverly Hills is the perfect community to take the lead to make this technology a reality,” explained Mayor John Mirisch in a press release. “It is now both feasible and safe for autonomous cars to be on the road.”
What makes it so perfect? First and foremost, there’s some money swirling around, which will no doubt prove useful. But Beverly Hills is also small — it only covers 14.79 square kilometres — which will make it relatively easy to build out the infrastructure for such a scheme. The Reporter also notes that a new fibre optic cable network is currently being built in the area, which will “allow future autonomous vehicles to communicate with the city’s electronic grid and with each other”.
The scheme will now enter a phase of public consultation.
Top: Beverly Hills with human drivers. (Image: Joshua Thamin)