House bill requests funds for self-driving shuttles in Jacksonville

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Driverless vehicles could be on our roads sooner than you think. That’s if a $500,000 appropriation is approved by the state legislature.

District 16 Rep. Jason Fischer filed House Bill 3831 requesting the money to help fund the Driverless Transportation Shuttle Program.

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According to the appropriations project request, “the funds will be spent to invest in the transportation technology and to bring two Olli shuttles to Jacksonville and Baptist Health complex as the first working example of this technology anywhere in Florida.”

The autonomous electric minibus was designed by Local Motors. It’s already on the roads in Washington, D.C., and will soon be used in Miami-Dade County and Las Vegas.

According to an IBM press release, Olli’s passengers will get to interact with it as they travel. They’ll be able to ask the vehicle questions, like where are it’s going and why it’s making specific turns.

Olli will also be able to study transportation data and will be equipped with 30 sensors throughout the vehicle.

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A Baptist Health spokesperson said that right now, there’s no definite plan to offer this technology, but they’ve had a conversation about the possibility.

A JTA spokesperson sent Action News Jax this statement:

"JTA has not been consulted on this project at this point. However, JTA is actively pursuing autonomous vehicle technology (AV) for the modernization and expansion of the Skyway. AV technology holds great promise and we are committed to ensuring its deployment is accomplished in a manner that is thoughtful, safe and effective.  We look forward to working with Representative Fischer and the Florida Department of Transportation towards that end."


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