Self-driving shuttles debut in Columbus. Next stop: Cleveland?

Self-driving shuttles debut in Columbus. Next stop: Cleveland?

COLUMBUS, OH (WOIO) - The future has arrived, perhaps a little earlier than expected.

“This is the first time in the United states that anyone could come and get on an autonomous vehicle,” said Edwin Olsen, CEO of May Mobility.

Self-Driving cars now in Columbus

It may feel a little like “The Jetsons.”

“Our idea is to test this one, learn a lot from the deployment and take that statewide,” said Jim Barna, Executive Director of DriveOhio.

Starting Dec. 10, a fleet of self-driving shuttles will make a mile-and-a-half trek in downtown Columbus, and could be in Cleveland soon.

“Within a year or two. We are in early talks with the Mayor (Frank Jackson’s) office,” Barna said.

It takes a bit to get used to the fact that no one is driving, but there is an operator in the car to make sure the ride is safe.

“It’s the no. 1 question we get is how safe is the technology? How we respond to that is this technology doesn’t text, doesn’t read the newspaper while driving,” Barna said.

Instead it has several lasers that sense people, other cars, and traffic lights.

“Five years ago we didn’t think it would come this quickly,” Barna said.

The technology was funded with a grant, so rides will be completely free. It will take passengers around the Scioto Mile.

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