The future of driverless urban tours by bus just showed up in Providence

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It runs a 45-minute five-mile route with computers, lasers, software, and tech doing the driving. A human driver sits on standby. They are cute but look like something built by a nerd from MIT.

Rhode Island’s department of transportation is running a free shuttle mini-bus service with it from downtown Providence. They named the bus “Little Roady.” It just got going May 2019. You can bet the former Boston WYNN Casino renamed ENCORE will be interested in this.

Little Roady mini-buses arrive every 15 minutes. They run all day from 6 a.m. until 6: 30 p.m. Passengers must wear seat belts! Five miles is not a long distance but the vehicles need 45 minutes to do the whole route.

But riders probably don’t mind how long it takes because it is a free ride and they can hop off at stops along the way, as they need. This sounds like something one could find in a gated resort community, doesn’t it?

May 14, 2019, this is what it looks like.

The future of driverless tour rides is just around the corner, oops; I meant to say, just down the road about 40 miles from here in Rhode Island.

It will take a lot of effort to make it work in urban Black Boston and parts all around, but the electronic and audio programming is the easiest part that will make it a go. That’s because bus drivers deal with the human personality and without them, the need for people management is unavoidable.

The new roady pilot-test is ambitious! Let’s see how it goes. To learn more, visit the Rhode Island Department of Transportation website.