The Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority has begun testing an autonomous vehicle designed to carry passengers between the Dublin/Pleasanton BART station and nearby locations.
The Shared Autonomous Vehicle (SAV) will have a maximum speed of 13 mph, and will operate on mixed-traffic routes under a mile, with no more than two stops and one traffic light. The initial testing, in conjunction with Transdev North America, will not involve passengers.
Testing will continue throughout the summer, with passenger service, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., expected to begin by late August.
The SAV is 100% electric and comes with cameras, sensors, and GPS. Although designed as an autonomous vehicle, the transit authority said a Transdev safety operator will be on board at all times. Funding for the project came from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.
“I am glad to see this pilot progressing with Transdev as a partner,” said Alameda County Supervisor and LAVTA board member Scott Haggerty, who secured the grant. “Given their experience with managing autonomous vehicle projects elsewhere in the country, I am confident we will soon be carrying passengers on this zero-emission service to employment, retail and residential destinations located near the Dublin/Pleasanton BART Station.”
Based in Illinois, Transdev is a private-sector operator of public transit, including bus, rail, streetcar, paratransit, and shuttle services.