Shared autonomous vehicles for public transit demonstrated in Dublin

- There’s no steering wheels to turn, no brakes to pump, they operate without a driver and they’re powered by battery and computer.

They are called a shared autonomous vehicle SAVs. 

The Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority demonstrated it Friday, but it won't officially hit the road for a few years.

"It’s a great technology for public transit and for the public in general," said Michael Tree, executive director of the Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority.

The idea is use the shuttle to make BART more convenient. A business park, housing development and shopping center are all a little more than a mile from the Dublin/Pleasanton BART Station.

Driverless shuttles would navigate city streets taking commuters back and forth, up to 12 passengers at a time.

"Perhaps people are driving to a business park because they don't want to walk from BART to it. I could totally envision setting up a route where every 10 minutes one of the shared autonomous vehicles will circulate and come back to BART on a route," said Tree.

Commuters in the Tri-Valley say they like the concept, but many don't trust the driverless technology. Last march an autonomous Uber car struck and killed a pedestrian in Tempe, Arizona.

"Driverless cars are an unproven technology. And I would be reluctant to use one until it has been fully vetted," said commuter Dave Herget.

The plan does call for having an attendant on board. The driverless shuttles still must undergo some 130 tests before they can officially hit the road.

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