Voyage, an autonomous driving startup, announced it has secured a multi-year license to deploy the autonomous ride-sharing service in The Villages in Sumter County, Fla., the largest retirement community in the world.
The company’s CEO, Oliver Cameron, said in a statement that simpler, slower environments are better suited for autonomous vehicles, given the current technology available. Deploying in these types of environments will allow the company to optimize safety and performance over cost, Cameron said.
Taking a cue from Waymo’s first-ever deployment of a fully driverless trip in Austin, Texas in 2015, Voyage will deploy a Neighborhood Electric Vehicle, which has a top speed limited to 25 MPH.
As for The Village being the ultimate choice for the deployment of the autonomous ride share service, Voyage believes the community, which offers several amenities to residents, is a great place to offer mobility options.
Speed limits in The Village are typically set at 20 MPH. Traffic patterns are simplified and roads are highly maintained.
The retirement village environment is also optimal for autonomous ride-hailing services due to the larger population of residents who may no longer be able to operate a vehicle on their own.
Voyage reported it is implementing these safety precautions ahead of deployment:
- Hardware-enforced limitations on speed and steering.
- Extensive fault injection testing to test real edge cases.
- A deeply integrated diagnostics module that monitors our systems and vehicle for abnormalities and degradations.
- Monitoring sensors for abnormalities in temperature and output.
- Redundancy in key hardware, software and algorithms.