LINCOLN, Neb. -- The future of transportation will be spending a summer trial in Lincoln. The Navya autonomous shuttle can fit 11 to 15 people and will soon be on the streets of downtown Lincoln.
Lincoln is one of 35 cities that won a competition with Bloomberg Philanthropies. This gave them grant money to bring a shuttle to Lincoln and be a trial city.
The 15 person shuttle will take it's first trips on Innovation Campus within the next couple of days.
It's called a Navy dirverless shuttle. It arrived in Lincoln on Tuesday morning and could call the Capital City it's new home.
"Today my friends we are putting Lincoln on the map," said Mayor Chris Beutler at the welcome party for the new transportation.
The Mayor and the city pushed to get Lincoln to be one of the first cities to use this technology.
"This as a research project that we can wrap our heads around and our arms around to really take on as an experiment, so that we could have control," said Miki Esposito the Director of Transportation and Utilities.
The city said the driverless vehicles are going to be everywhere one day, so why not embrace it.
"Why should we sit back, can we not develop this technology in our city?" asked David Young the project lead.
The Mayor agreed and said "Lincoln is seeking to become the first city in the United States to offer an on demand autonomous shuttle service for public transportation".
They stressed, more than anything, in order to make this transportation permanent, it has to be something the community supports.
"It's exciting to talk about, but at the end of the day we really need to know what the community thinks. That is very critical," said Esposito.
That includes where it drives, how fast it goes, and how it improves people's lives.
"One of the things I'm very curious about are the mobility opportunities for the elderly, for the blind, people who already use our transit system and how we can make their lives even better," said Esposito.
After a couple of weeks doing routes at Innovation Campus, then the Navya will be downtown in the Haymarket. The public will get it's turn to ride the shuttle, and give feedback. For the trial period all rides are free.
We will post exact dates and a schedule when it's released by the city.
For more information on the shuttle go the link in the sidebar.