July 11, 2017 - Audi has introduced its new A8 sedan, the world's first production car with SAE Level 3 automated driving. The A8's Traffic Jam Pilot will fully control the car at speeds up to 37 mph (60 kph) on freeways. According to Audi, drivers "can take their hands off the steering wheel permanently and, depending on the national laws, focus on a different activity that is supported by the car, such as watching the on-board TV. As soon as the system reaches its limits, it calls on the driver to take back control of the task of driving." If the driver doesn't take back control within a certain number of seconds, the system will bring the car to a stop.
June 10, 2017 - The governor of Washington state has signed an executive order allowing the testing of automated vehicles on public roads with no humans on board. Testing could begin within two months.
Mar 31, 2017 - A conference on the deployment and commercialization of smart driving cars will be held at Princeton University on May 17-18, 2017. It will focus on near-term safety benefits, regulatory challenges, and mobility & community benefits of automated driving, as well as on the technological challenges of using computer vision and deep learning for vehicle control.
Mar 11, 2017 - The California Department of Motor Vehicles has issued draft regulations allowing the testing of automated vehicles on public roads with no one on board. However, an automated vehicle must have a "remote operator" who is capable of monitoring the vehicle's operation and communicating with any passengers.
Jan 6, 2017 - Later this year Audi will begin selling the world's first vehicle with SAE Level 3 automation. The 2018 Audi A8 sedan will drive itself up to 35 MPH in traffic jams on freeways. According to the SAE, Level 3 means users do not have to "monitor" the road ahead, but must simply be "receptive" to requests from the car to take over driving. Users have "several seconds" to respond to these requests. In practice, this requires them to be in the driver's seat and not asleep, but should allow for other activities such as watching movies.
Nov 9, 2016 - The city council of Redwood City, California has voted to allow Starship Technologies to run a 9-month test of their delivery robots on city sidewalks and streets. The discussion of the robots begins at minute 23 of the Nov 7 Session Video, and at minute 40 of the downloadable MP4 file. This will be the primary pilot program for Starship in the United States, and is expected to involve 20 of their robots.
Oct 27, 2016 - An automated truck owned by Otto (recently acquired by Uber) has transported approximately 40,000 lbs (18,000 kg) of freight for 120 miles (193 km) along a freeway in Colorado with no one in the driver's seat. A licensed driver monitored the operation from the rear of the truck's cab. More information here and here.
Oct 3, 2016 - California's governor has signed a bill allowing the Contra Costa Transportation Authority to conduct a pilot project using automated vehicles without a steering wheel, brake pedal or accelerator. The vehicles could operate on public roads within a business park designated by the Authority. This is expected to be Bishop Ranch in San Ramon near San Francisco.
Sept 20, 2016 - The US Dept. of Transportation issued new policy guidelines for automated vehicles operating on public roads.
Sept 8, 2016 - The Michigan Senate passed a bill allowing autonomous vehicles to operate on public roads with no one on board. The bill is expected to pass the House and be approved by Governor Rick Snyder by the end of this year.
Aug 16, 2016 - Ford CEO Mark Fields announced that by 2021 his company would be "mass producing vehicles with full autonomy ... no steering wheel, no gas pedal, and no brake pedal; a driver is not going to be required." The vehicles would be used for ride-hailing or ride-sharing service, and Ford CTO Raj Nair said the vehicles would operate "in a geo-fenced area that is very heavily 3D mapped." This corresponds to SAE Level 4 capability.
Aug 4, 2016 - Otto long-haul trucks with Level 3 automation will be tested on public roads by small owner-operators by the end of this year.
July 23, 2016 - Starship delivery robot achieves 90 percent autonomous driving on public sidewalk.
May 28, 2014 - Google announced it will build about a hundred driverless cars. They will have a top speed of 25 mph and carry two passengers.
Jan 11, 2014 - Possible Automated Transit Networks for Montgomery County, Maryland were presented at a meeting of the Advanced Transit Association.
Aug 21, 2013 - A YouTube video shows clear and informative images of Masdar driverless vehicles for about 4 minutes starting 40 min 30 sec in. Mostly in French.
Jun 18, 2013 - Martin Lowson, the developer of the Ultra automated vehicle system, has passed away. He was responsible for the crucially important decision to have Ultra vehicles powered by batteries and guided by automotive-type steering rather than side rails, thus greatly reducing guideway complexity.
Jan 13, 2013 - A presentation describing the control system for a scale model Personal Rapid Transit vehicle was given at the annual technical meeting of the Advanced Transit Association in College Park, Maryland. It requires PowerPoint 10 or the free Microsoft viewer to run, since it includes embedded videos. The scale model is intended to facilitate the development of PRT control systems based on computer vision.
Sep 25, 2012 - Ultra Global PRT announced that their 4-passenger pods at London's Heathrow airport have carried "nearly 500,000" passengers since starting service in April 2011.
Jan 21, 2012 - A presentation describing a scale model Personal Rapid Transit system was given at the annual technical meeting of the Advanced Transit Association in College Park, Maryland. It included a short video that needs to be in the same directory as the PPT file if the presentation is downloaded and run offline. The model is intended to facilitate the development of PRT control systems based on computer vision.
Dec 15, 2011 - Contract awarded for a 200-vehicle Personal Rapid Transit system in Amritsar, India. The system will use battery-powered pods similar to those at Heathrow Airport, London, and is scheduled to begin service in 2014.
Dec 9, 2011 - The automated vehicle systems at Heathrow Airport, London and Masdar, Abu Dhabi have each carried over 200,000 passengers. Both systems use 4-passenger, battery-powered pods that steer themselves along exclusive roadways without mechanical guidance.
Aug 25, 2011 - The four-passenger driverless "pods" at London's Heathrow airport are currently carrying about 800 passengers a day.
July 8, 2011 - The ULTra automated vehicle system at London's Heathrow airport has apparently entered full passenger service. Four-passenger "pods" are the only way to travel between a Business Car Park and Terminal 5.
May 16, 2011 - Numerous updates have been made to the 2getthere company web site, including new information on the Masdar Personal Rapid Transit system.
Apr 19, 2011 - The ULTra automated vehicle system at London's Heathrow airport has begun a three week trial during which the general public can ride 4-passenger "pods" between Terminal 5 and a remote parking lot.
Jan 26, 2011 - More rider videos of Masdar's Personal Rapid Transit System have become available. The system opened to the public without fanfare in November 2010.
Jan 23, 2011 - Presentation about a scale model Personal Rapid Transit system was given at the annual technical meeting of the Advanced Transit Association in Washington, DC. The model is intended to facilitate the development of PRT control systems based on computer vision.
Oct 19, 2010 - The ULTra Personal Rapid Transit system at London's Heathrow airport began its most extensive live trial thus far. The passengers are retail employees at Terminal 5 who will use the system's 4-passenger vehicles as part of their commute to work. During the trial the PRT system will operate 12 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Jan 10, 2010 - Presentation on Scale Model Automated Road Vehicle was given at the annual technical meeting of the Advanced Transit Association in College Park, MD.
Sept 5, 2009 - The opening of the ULTra system at London's Heathrow airport has been delayed. According to the ULTra PRT web site, passenger service is expected to commence in "late Spring 2010."
Apr 25, 2009 - A number of videos posted on YouTube show the ULTra system at Heathrow airport, London (via Kinetic Network PRT). The video labeled "LHR PRT 4 Trip from T5" shows a trip along the full length of the system from Terminal 5 to one of the two parking lot stations.
Jan 19, 2009 - Photos of Masdar Automated Road Vehicle have been posted on Flickr (via Kinetic Network PRT).
Jan 11, 2009 - Presentation on Initial Applications for Automated Vehicles on Exclusive Roadways was given at the annual technical meeting of the Advanced Transit Association in Washington, DC.
Dec 30, 2008 - Possible Automated Road Vehicle application added. It would serve a station on a planned BRT or LRT line outside of Washington, DC.
Dec 23, 2008 - Possible Automated Road Vehicle application for College Park, Md has been updated with more detail added.
Dec 6, 2008 - Video spotted on YouTube showing tests of the ParkShuttle driverless minibus near Rotterdam during the first half of 2008.
Nov 17, 2008 - Model of possible Automated Road Vehicle for Masdar, Abu Dhabi, spotted on Flickr (from Kinetic Network PRT). It may be a restyled version of the ULTra 4-passenger Personal Rapid Transit vehicle. Update Jan 25, 2009: Apparently this is not the ULTra vehicle. Instead it was developed by 2getthere, although it does not look like the PRT computer image on their web site.
June 20, 2008 - Web page on Automated Microbus stations has been updated to describe how vehicles can resolve conflicts without central control.
Feb 22, 2008 - The presentation mentioned in the Jan 12, 2008 entry below is now available online.
Jan 12, 2008 - The Advanced Transit Association's annual technical meeting will include a presentation on one approach to operating automated road vehicles. It's entitled "Micro-Simulation of Automated Vehicles with Minimal Central Control".
Sept 19, 2007 - Meeting on Personal Rapid Transit standards in Minneapolis, MN sponsored by the Advanced Transit Association.
May 2007 - Morgantown, WV seminar included a presentation on using small automated road vehicles as a feeder system for the existing PRT system.
July 2006 - Connexxion, the operator of the ParkShuttle driverless minibus system near Rotterdam, announced that service will resume in February 2007. See the Dutch web page here, which can be translated by Babel Fish. [More about the ParkShuttle in left-hand column]
June 2006 - Page added on ARVs in the Long Term.
May 2006 - Proposed College Park, Md application added. Pedestrian overpass diagram added.
April 2006 - Roadway cost model added. It gives a value of $1.1M per two-way mile.
January 2006 - Annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board in Washington, DC included Session 732 on Automated Road Vehicles.
January 2006 - Advanced Transit Association Technical Seminar in McLean, VA included presentation on recent ARV developments.
May 2005 - Pictures of Toyota IMTS at Expo 2005 in Japan. [More in left-hand column]
project. A system of small, driverless, electric cars is scheduled to carry tourists around Shanghai Century Park starting in the 2nd half of 2006.
Test of ParkShuttle II driverless minibus in Antibes, France. Rides were provided for 4,000 citizens. Maximum speed was 25 km/hr (15 mph).