A new partnership between autonomous driving startup Optimus Ride and real estate developer LStar Ventures will see self-driving vehicle access offered up to residents of a new urban development near Boston.
The partnership will see the Union Point neighborhood, which occupies 1,550 acres just over 10 miles south of Boston, loaded out with a fleet provided by Optimus Ride that will operate driverless vehicle service connecting the community to South Weymouth rail station, and also operating within the development itself.
This is possible because Optimus Ride, an MIT spinout company, has secured a self-driving vehicle test permit from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, giving it the okay to field test autonomous cars in the commonwealth.
This represents the first AV pilot program in which members of the public will pay for access to a commercial service offering. The goal is to begin picking up passengers with the new service starting in early 2018 and to incorporate other smart infrastructure tech into the Union Point development, which is being built from the ground up as a model smart city.