Peachtree Corners’ self-driving shuttle service is officially open to the public.
The city celebrated the launch of the new system at a Tuesday event, where dozens of people were lined up before 11 a.m. to board two autonomous shuttles. This is the latest step for Peachtree Corners’ Curiosity Lab, a “living laboratory” designed to test self-driving vehicles and other cutting-edge technology, according to city manager Brian Johnson.
Curiosity Lab was officially opened three weeks ago, and has been in the works since early 2018. It includes a start-up incubator and a 1.5-mile test track where the self-driving Olli shuttle has been operating in advance of the Tuesday launch. The test track on Technology Parkway operates alongside regular traffic, allowing autonomous vehicles to “learn” how to safely navigate.
City officials, residents and visitors got a chance to travel that track driver-free. The vehicle took 10 people at a time on a 3-mile round-trip, lasting about 20 minutes. For those who sought a quicker jaunt on the shuttle, another Olli took passengers on a two-minute loop around the Peachtree Corners City Hall parking lot.
Dean Jones, 73, was among the first to take the ride around the parking lot. The Peachtree Corners resident found the ride “smooth, nice and comfortable.”
“It would be great to cut back on traffic,” Jones said. “I think it’s fascinating. It’s wonderful. It’s exciting. It really puts Peachtree Corners on the map.”
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