NEW YORK >> An autonomous vehicle technology company that partners with Ford and Volkswagen said it has started driverless operations in two of eight cities where it is developing its technology.
Pittsburgh-based Argo AI has pulled drivers from its autonomous cars in Miami and Austin, Texas, though it is still in the testing phase. Its commercial partnerships with Walmart and Lyft still have backup drivers in both cities.
The company is partnering with Lyft to use its autonomous test vehicles for their ride-sharing network in Miami Beach and grocery delivery for Walmart in Miami and Austin.
Argo says it is the first company to go driverless in two American cities, but Argo isn’t the first company to go driverless. Waymo, the autonomous vehicle unit of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, announced in March that it started carrying employees in electric Jaguar I-Pace SUVs in San Francisco without human backup drivers.
In February, General Motors and its autonomous vehicle subsidiary Cruise posted a signup page for anyone to reserve a free ride, also in San Francisco.
Late last year, a semitruck operated by the San Diego company TuSimple completed an 80-mile route in Arizona, the first successful fully-autonomous run by a class 8 vehicle on open public roads with no human intervention.