There are now completely driverless cars with no one behind the wheel for safety on the roads of Miami and Austin

  • Austin and Miami drivers are sharing their roads for the first time with fully autonomous cars.
  • Argo AI, a driverless company in Pittsburgh, announced the new fleet on May 17th.

Complete driverless cars without a human safety driver have hit the streets of Austin, Texas. and Miami, Florida, autonomous vehicle tech company Argo AI announced on May 17th.

De news makes Austin and Miami two early adopters of completely driverless auto technology in urban centers.

Pittsburgh-based Argo AI is also currently testing its Argo autonomy platform in four other U.S. cities – Washington, DC, Pittsburgh, Detroit and Palo Alto – and in two German cities, Munich and Hamburg. The company implements self-driving tech, consisting of lidar, sensors and mapping software, in Ford and Volkswagen cars and is supported by the two car manufacturers.

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It’s not clear how many people regularly use services that involve Argo AI’s cars, but the company says its “service coverage” includes 2 million Americans and it has an ultimate goal of reaching more than 15 million customers.

“From day one, we aim to tackle the hardest miles to drive – in multiple cities – because that’s where the density of customer demand is,” said Argo AI CEO and founder Bryan Salesky in a statement.

The driverless cars in Austin and Miami will operate as part of the company’s partnership with ride-hailing service Lyft and Walmart’s delivery service to offer driverless taxi rides and autonomous grocery delivery, respectively.

2022 has been the year that is different AV companies are bringing their driverless tech from suburban neighborhoods to major U.S. cities. Argo AI rival Waymo, a technical company in Alphabet that leads the field in driverless rides services, has taken similar steps.

In March this year, it announced that its fleet of fully autonomous cars was ready in downtown Phoenix, Arizona for customers in its early rider program, and to San Francisco, California for Waymo employees. Waymo’s driverless taxi services have been available for several years in parts of the suburbs of Phoenix.

Driverless tech firm Cruise opened its fleet of completely driverless cars to the San Francisco audience in February, said chief technology officer and co-founder Kyle Vogt.

Self-driving cars have to deal with significant control amidst their hype. In 2018, a safety driver was charged with criminal negligence after a Uber self-driving car fatally hit a pedestrian in Arizona, and Uber was found partly responsible by the National Transportation Safety Board. Uber later completely shut down its AV technology development.

Argo AI said it worked with safety-certified TÜV SÜD to assess its AV technology. Under Texas law, AV cars are required to have video recording cameras installed and manufacturers can be held responsible for collisions or traffic changes.

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