Columbus’ driverless shuttle buses set for launch this year

COLUMBUS (AP) — Columbus officials say self-driving shuttle buses will begin operating later this year as the city continues its push to become a “smart city” for transportation.

The low-speed, automated shuttle service will connect riders to downtown locations such as COSI, Bicentennial Park and the National Veterans Memorial, which opens this fall.

The Columbus Dispatch reports there will be an operator onboard the shuttles who can take over if needed. The shuttles will likely hold about a dozen passengers.

Vehicle testing starts in October and service is expected to begin in December. The downtown shuttle service will be the first of a three-phase program that will include testing in other Columbus locations.

The Ohio Department of Transportation has released a request for proposals due in August.

Information from: The Columbus Dispatch,