Bay Area startup touts driverless transit system as commuting solution

As more people return to work, commutes become increasingly unbearable, especially for those remote suburbs. However, a homegrown Bay Area solution will soon begin construction to alleviate some of these challenges.

Autonomous carmaker Glydways is behind the project, which boasts zero emissions, relatively low-cost construction, and on-demand availability, promising to revolutionize commuting experiences.

Based in the Bay Area, Glydways showcased its flagship Glydcar, dubbed the "autonomous vehicle of the future," at the 9th annual Redefining Mobility Summit held at San Ramon's Bishop Ranch Roundhouse on Tuesday.


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The Glydcar is part of a scalable, expandable mass transit system, set to span 28 miles upon completion, with a dedicated narrow roadway from Antioch to Oakley, featuring 56 boarding stations.

Glydways CEO Gokul Hemmady outlined the project's timeline, with the first phase connecting the Antioch BART station to Brentwood within three years. The company will deploy 200 autonomous Glydcars to service stations along the designated pathway.

Riders will access Glydcars via an app, hailing driverless vehicles, much as one would order an Uber or Lyft. The Glydcars can accommodate up to four passengers.

Hemmady estimates that building the dedicated pathway for the Glydcars is a mere fraction of traditional rail projects, which could cost billions of dollars.

"If it costs $1 billion a mile to build a 28-mile system, that's $28 billion," said Hemmady. "Our system is going to cost a fraction; ten to 20% of that," said Hemmady.

Glydways also plans to create a route that connects San José Mineta International Airport to existing rail transit.