A fleet of 30 driverless BMW 5 Series vehicles is about to hit the streets of Las Vegas.
Building off a successful test run during the Consumer Electronics Show in January, when the cars navigated passengers among predetermined sites and the Las Vegas Convention Center, Lyft and Aptiv plan to deploy the autonomous vehicles in the summer.
They will run on the fixed routes used during CES, which included the convention center and various resorts on Las Vegas Boulevard. Las Vegas is working with Aptiv to extend those routes into downtown, said Michael Sherwood, the city’s director of technology and innovation.
The target start date is July or August and the route could change, Sherwood said. Customers who elect to be picked up by a driverless BMW can do so like hailing any other ride on the Lyft app.
“This is an important next step for Aptiv on our path to commercialization for Automated Mobility on Demand in a thoughtful, prudent and safe manner,” said Aptiv Chief Technology Officer Glen De Vos said in a blog post. “Safety remains our No. 1 priority, and we are going to deploy this fleet slowly and safely, gathering data and insights as we go. Each car will have operators who have been extensively trained, both on and off the road.”
The autonomous driving platform utilized by the BMWs include three types of sensors — Lidar, radar and vision — which offer a 360-degree view of safety when combined with autonomous driving algorithms, sensor fusion and compute platform, according to Aptiv.
Aptiv will gather data on how the cars react to unpredictable scenarios, which will be used to improve the company’s systems.
Aptiv will work closely with the city to design future mobility solutions, which benefit public transportation and help with urban congestion challenges. The findings in the Las Vegas test run will be deployed in other cities worldwide, De Vos said.
“At Aptiv, our goal is to make a safer, greener and more connected future a reality,” he said, “and this gets us one step closer.”