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Arlington Rolling Out Milo Autonomous Shuttle Pilot Program August 26

BY ARLINGTON WEEKLY STAFF

Arlington, Texas. August 23, 2017

The City of Arlington will soon launch Milo, a free autonomous shuttle service that will operate on select off-street trails in the Entertainment District before and after major events at AT&T Stadium and Globe Life Park in Arlington.

Fans attending the Dallas Cowboys pre-season home game on Saturday, August 26, will be among the first to ride a Milo shuttle as part of the City’s innovative transportation pilot program. The City showcased the battery-powered Milo shuttles and the service routes during a media preview Friday, August 11 at Richard Greene Linear Park.

The City is leasing two of these self-driving, electric vehicles from EasyMile, a company based in France, as part of a one-year pilot program to explore autonomous transportation technology in a real-world setting. While the City of Las Vegas ran a two-week autonomous shuttle pilot program earlier this year, Arlington will become the first municipal government in the United States to offer ongoing autonomous shuttle service to the general public.

“The experts are saying every day there is something new being invented in transportation. It’s a great opportunity for us to do these pilot projects, for us to actually test them in our community and for our citizens to be able to look at them and see if they work here and what their opinion of it is,” Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams said. “We want to see how this technology performs, where it is best utilized and how it can be harnessed to potentially serve the city’s transportation needs in the future.”

Meet Milo

Starting August 26, the Milo shuttles will run approximately one hour before and one hour after major events at AT&T Stadium and Globe Life Park in Arlington. The shuttles are programmed to run along select off-street trails in Richard Greene Linear Park and Robert Cluck Linear Park between the two venues and will pick up and drop off passengers at designated stops.

On Friday, Arlington City Council members, Texas Rangers leadership and manager Jeff Banister, City of Arlington Transportation Advisory Committee members, city officials and local journalists took turns riding the bright red shuttle along the scenic path bordering Johnson Creek.

The shuttles, which are wheelchair accessible, can hold up to 12 passengers and will drive at speeds averaging 10 to 12 miles per hour. A one-way trip takes about 13 minutes to complete from pick up to drop off.

The trail takes passengers past several works of public art, including the Caleum Moor granite sculptures, as they travel between the designated stops.

“The timing of this Milo technology could not be better,” said Rob Matwick, executive vice president of business operations for the Texas Rangers. “To be able to give our fans the opportunity to experience this innovative technology and give them the convenience to deliver them close to the ballpark or AT&T Stadium is outstanding. We are all about customer service and making memories here at the ballpark.”

Signs along the route instruct walkers, joggers and others sharing the concrete path to keep their distance from the moving shuttles. But even if someone or something were to stray into a Milo’s path, the vehicles are outfitted with numerous safety features that help it avoid bumping into bikes,  pedestrians or obstacles on the trails.

“We’re very proud of the fact that after operating over 100,000 miles all over the world, in many different environments, these vehicles have never been in an accident,” said Lauren Isaac, EasyMile’s Director of Business Initiatives for North America.

Although the Milo shuttles will run autonomously, the vehicles will always have a certified operator on-board serving as a customer service ambassador.



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