Linden, a northeast Columbus neighborhood, is about to launch a residential, automated shuttle service which officials say is the first program of its kind in the country.
The 12-person, self-driving shuttle will travel a nearly 3-mile circuit in the neighborhood that city leaders want to revitalize. The residential service will connect people to several places, including a community house and a recreation center.
Luke Stedke, DriveOhio's managing director of communications, says the Linden project can play a role in the future use of driverless vehicles.
"The development of technology and where we are in the spectrum, we're at the beginning of it. So we talk about testing and deploying and gathering data and learning lessons to further the process," says Stedke.
DriveOhio is the state agency that helps streamline automated vehicle programs. Stedke says each program brings take the state one step further in the development of the infrastructure.
"It's really important that we take every opportunity to do this right, do this in a systematic way, and the lessons that we learn build with each deployment," Stedke says.
The Linden project, which is part of the Smart Columbus transportation grant program, will run for 12 months.