MERRIFIELD, Va. (FOX 5 DC) - Would you be comfortable going for a ride in a car that doesn’t have a driver?
It’s not as far fetched as you might think.
Fairfax County officials confirm they’ve proposed an autonomous shuttle pilot project, along with partner Dominion Energy. They say the shuttle would operate on normal roads next to normal cars — between the Dunn Loring Metro Station and the Mosaic District in Merrifield, which are almost a mile apart.
A spokesperson for the county’s Department of Transportation cautioned that the project is only a proposal at this point and added that if state funding is approved later this year, details will still need to be worked out.
“If implemented, the pilot will help to evaluate AV shuttles as a first and last-mile mobility solution, evaluate their ability to activate neighborhoods and attract businesses, explore future opportunities for this technology, and evaluate public perceptions of this technology,” spokesperson Robin Geiger wrote in an email.
She added that even though the shuttle wouldn’t have a driver, it would have an operator who would be on board just in case something went wrong.