Unlike conventional People Movers, Automated Road Vehicles (ARVs) steer themselves without mechanical constraint. They have been used for decades to carry freight in factories [More]

ARV Systems that have entered service

This list includes all Automated Road Vehicles that have carried the general public at 10 km/hr (6.2 mph) or more with no system employees on board.

ParkShuttle at Schiphol airport, Amsterdam ParkShuttle I - began operating December 1997, providing circulation within the P3 parking lot at Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam. Maximum speed was about 24 km/hr (15 mph). A second system was in service outside Rotterdam connecting the Rivium business park with a rail station. Automated service to Rivium was suspended so the system could be extended, but resumed with 2nd generation vehicles (see below). Also see here and here.
Yamaha Floriade vehicle Yamaha Floriade Vehicle - approximately 25 vehicles were operational during the summer of 2002 as part of the Floriade horticultural show held every ten years in the Netherlands. Speed was 11 km/hr (7 mph). Also see here.
Toyota IMTS bus on Awaji Island Toyota IMTS Bus on Awaji Island - two buses, both driverless, operate in platoon formation at a theme park on Awaji Island, Japan. Maximum speed is 30 km/hr (19 mph). The system began service in 2001.
Toyota IMTS buses at Expo 2005 Toyota IMTS Bus at Expo 2005 - began service March 25, 2005 and operated for six months during Expo 2005 in Japan. Maximum speed was 30 km/hr (19 mph). Vehicles operated automatically in platoons of three on a dedicated road with an attendant in the lead vehicle only. On a separate route they were manually driven individually. Also see here and here.
ParkShuttle II ParkShuttle II - began automated service December 2005 to the Rivium business park outside of Rotterdam. The new vehicle is longer than the original, and holds 20-24 passengers. Top speed is 32 km/hr (20 mph). The exclusive roadway was extended to 1.8 km (1.1 miles) and upgraded from one way (with passing points) to mostly two way. Also see here. Unfortunately, the system has experienced major setbacks. It was temporarily shut down following the collision of two empty vehicles. Before it could reopen, a fire in the ParkShuttle garage on the night of February 7-8, 2006 destroyed one vehicle and damaged another. The vehicles were repaired and tests of the ParkShuttle during the first half of 2008 can be seen on YouTube. According to a Dutch language web site, the ParkShuttle resumed service to the public in September 2008.
Masdar CyberCab CyberCab PRT Vehicle at Masdar, Abu Dhabi - began service November 2010. Initial plans for a city-wide system with thousands of vehicles have been drastically scaled back. The system may be limited to the currently operational pilot segment which includes 2 passenger and 3 freight stations. The CyberCabs can hold 4 adults and 2 children. The pilot system has 10 CyberCabs for passengers and 3 freight vehicles.
Heathrow pod at station ULTra "Pods" at Heathrow airport, London - began service in the summer of 2011. The system consists of 21 4-passenger, battery powered vehicles running on an exclusive guideway. One station is next to Terminal 5, and the other two are in a surface parking lot a little over a mile (1.6 km) away. Travel time to/from the terminal is about 5 minutes.

W H A T ' S    N E W
June 26, 2019 - Starsky Robotics announced that one of its automated trucks recently accomplished a world's first: it drove for about ten miles on a road open to the public at speeds up to 55 mph (88 kph) with no human on board.
May 1, 2019 - Jay Inslee, the governor of Washington state, has signed a bill allowing the operation of sidewalk delivery robots with an empty weight up to 120 lbs (55 kg) at a maximum speed of 6 mph (10 kph).
Oct 18, 2018 - An article on remote driving written by this site's author has been published on the Advanced Transit Association website.
Aug 8, 2018 - Kodiak Robotics has raised $40 million in venture capital to develop autonomous technology for long-haul trucking. Kodiak was co-founded by Don Burnette, who previously co-founded the self-driving trucking company Otto that was later bought by Uber.
Apr 10, 2018 - The second annual conference on the deployment and commercialization of smart driving cars will be held at Princeton University on May 16-17, 2018. 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 3, 2018 - The governor of Arizona has issued an executive order allowing driverless cars to operate without a safety driver on board provided they abide by all federal and state safety standards.
Jan 12, 2018 - General Motors has announced plans to operate a fleet of Level 4 automated vehicles starting in 2019. GM has asked NHTSA to waive 16 current safety standards for the new vehicles, which are modified versions of the Chevy Bolt without a steering wheel or other manual controls. The vehicles and their operation are described in a new 33-page GM report.
Nov 7, 2017 - Waymo has announced that they are currently operating automated minivans on public streets in Chandler, Arizona with no one in the driver's seat. According to The Verge, the vehicles still have a Waymo employee on board who sits in the back seat.
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.
Personal Rapid Transit vehicle in Masdar, Abu Dhabi
Sept 26, 2010 - NY Times article describes Masdar, Abu Dhabi, and its Personal Rapid Transit system.
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."
Masdar vehicle
Apr 29, 2009 - Information about the 6-passenger CyberCab vehicle for Masdar, Abu Dhabi was recently added to the 2getthere web site. Various facts, figures and photos can be found by looking at the sub-menus under the Vehicle menu in the Personal Transit section.
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.
Automated Road Vehicle in Masdar video
May 6, 2008 - National Public Radio web page includes a video showing an Automated Road Vehicle system planned for Masdar, Abu Dhabi.
Feb 22, 2008 - The presentation mentioned in the Jan 12, 2008 entry below is now available online.
ULTra guideway under construction Computer image of ULTra 4-passenger vehicles
Jan 22, 2008 - New photos and videos show details of the ULTra system under construction at Heathrow Airport, London. One of the videos can be seen on YouTube.
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".
Computer image of ULTra PRT vehicles on Heathrow guideway.  This section of guideway is currently under construction.
Nov 7, 2007 - Presentation on CityMobil project describes several European applications of automated road vehicles.
One of the Cybercars in Daventry, UK
Sept 24 to Oct 5, 2007 - Cybercar demonstration in Daventry, UK. BBC report includes video "Inside a Cybercar".
Sept 19, 2007 - Meeting on Personal Rapid Transit standards in Minneapolis, MN sponsored by the Advanced Transit Association.
First ULTra production vehicle
August 2007 - First ULTra production vehicle delivered for commissioning trials.
May 2007 - Morgantown, WV seminar included a presentation on using small automated road vehicles as a feeder system for the existing PRT system.
ParkShuttle on bridge CyberCab 6-passenger PRT vehicle
March 2007 - 2getthere launches its new web site featuring the ParkShuttle driverless minibus and the CyberCab PRT vehicle.
Generic Automated microbus layout
March 2007 - Layout for a generic, at-grade, Automated Microbus system to provide area coverage. It can be replicated to cover any size region, and uses only 2.2% of the land.
Center-platform, automated microbus station
January 2007 - Design for at-grade, Center-Platform, Automated Microbus station.
Western terminus of possible North Bethesda system
January 2007 - Revised web page describing possible North Bethesda, Md Automated Microbus system. Includes new high-resolution images.
T Intersection
January 2007 - Revised at-grade T intersection. The design facilitates operation without central control.
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.
ULTra route at Heathrow airport ULTra vehicle for Heathrow airport
June 2006 - More details released on system of 4-passenger ARVs to start operation at Heathrow airport in 2008. [More in left-hand column]
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.

Prime minister Balkenende of the Netherlands rides the ParkShuttle ParkShuttle II vehicle
December 2005 - Prime Minister Balkenende of the Netherlands rides the ParkShuttle driverless minibus to inaugurate public service in a suburb of Rotterdam. [More in left-hand column]

Planned ULTra airport system ULTra vehicle
November 2005 - BAA announces that ULTra 4-passenger ARVs will begin operation at London's Heathrow airport in 2008. [More in left-hand column]

May 2005 - Pictures of Toyota IMTS at Expo 2005 in Japan. [More in left-hand column]

Shanghai Daily newspaper with CyberCar article

December 2004 - Joint EU-China project.  A system of small, driverless, electric cars is scheduled to carry tourists around Shanghai Century Park starting in the 2nd half of 2006.

ParkShuttle II test at Antibes

June 2004 - Test of ParkShuttle II driverless minibus in Antibes, France. Rides were provided for 4,000 citizens. Maximum speed was 25 km/hr (15 mph).