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Image: John F. Martin for Aptiv

A fleet of 30 vehicles equipped with Aptiv’s autonomous driving platform is now available for public use in Las Vegas, Nevada, via the Lyft network. The cars, developed by Aptiv’s Mobility and Service group and featuring LiDAR, radar and vision sensors, have gone into operation in Las Vegas to shuttle passengers between popular locations, and can be hailed using the Lyft app. Trained ‘safety drivers’ will oversee the operation of the vehicles, nonetheless.

This launch follows a pilot trial during CES 2018, when more than 400 rides were successfully given to attendees of the Consumer Electronics Show, and will yield further insights into self-driving fleet operations. Data is to be collected on how the cars react to unpredictable scenarios, and research will also be carried out into wider management issues such as the passengers’ user experience, optimizing fuelling, cleaning and maintenance, and vehicle life-cycle.

“With Aptiv’s autonomous driving technology deployed throughout Las Vegas and broadly accessible through the Lyft app, a wide range of consumers will be able to share the experience of autonomous vehicles in a complex urban environment,” said Kevin Clark, Aptiv president and CEO, in a statement.

Glen De Vos, Aptiv's chief technology officer and president, Mobility and Services Group, added in a blog post on Aptiv’s website: “We view these deployments as invaluable opportunities to learn how to best operationalize and commercialize autonomous driving technologies in a safe and effective manner…

“This is an important next step for Aptiv on our path to commercialization for Automated Mobility on Demand (AMoD) in a thoughtful, prudent and safe manner. Safety remains our number one 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…

“Additionally, we have been working closely with Las Vegas officials in developing our plan to deploy AMoD in a dense urban setting. We will be working side-by-side to proactively architect future mobility solutions which benefit public transportation and urban congestion challenges. We will then take those learnings and deploy in other cities across the globe.”

-Farah Alkhalisi