Driverless buses to be tested in the Kansas City Northland

Bill Grady
March 06, 2019 - 5:47 am

RideKC

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Kansas City, Mo - A joint project involving involving RideKC and Park Hill Schools will soon test driverless buses in the Northland.

Twelve-passenger autonomous buses will be tested on private property at Zona Rosa before the end of this summer.

An operator will be on board, just to be on the safe side, said Bob Bennett, Kansas City chief innovation officer.

"In the event that he has to reassume control, he can do that, or she can do that, with a control device that looks an awful lot like a Nintendo controller," Bennett said.

Residents are most likely at least three years away from seeing driverless buses on Kansas City streets. That development will not come until researchers determine there is a market for that type of transportation, and the public is well-informed, Bennett said.

Park Hill High School interns are offering their input, which Bennett considers a big plus.

"(The students do) amazing work in terms of visioning and doing some of the research on the other cities," Bennett said. "But more importantly, the way they see the world is what is going to be expected 10, 15 years from now." 

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