Increasingly recognized for its interest in exploring technology-based mobility solutions, the City of Arlington continues its efforts testing autonomous vehicle technology with an on-street pilot program. The one year project will test autonomous vehicles in a real-world environment on the streets of the Entertainment District. The service is expected to begin in October 2018. Stay tuned for more information soon.This type of innovative transportation technology isn’t new for Arlington. Last year, the City became the first city in the United States to offer continuous autonomous shuttle service to the public, with the Milo pilot program. Milo operated from August 2017 to August 2018 on off-street trails in the Entertainment District, providing free rides to visitors and citizens at over 110 events. The electric shuttles operated for public demonstrations and before and after major events at AT&T Stadium and Globe Life Park. Ridership surveys showed that 99% of Milo riders enjoyed riding and felt safe riding Milo.
- Milo shuttles were free to use, wheelchair accessible, and could hold up to 12 passengers (or 10 passengers + one wheelchair).
- Shuttle rides were available along select Entertainment District off-street trails during Stadium and Ballpark events.
- Although Milo ran autonomously, a certified operator was always onboard.
- Milo had a maximum speed of about 15 miles per hour and could accelerate, brake and steer by itself.
- Milo’s driverless technology came with collision avoidance systems that detected other vehicles, cyclists, pedestrians, and obstacles.
- Milo operated by following a pre-programmed route on trails, not city streets.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Milo?
The City of Arlington’s Milo shuttles were low-speed, battery-powered autonomous vehicles. The City leased two of these self-driving, electric vehicles from EasyMile, a company based in France, as part of a one-year pilot program from August 2017 to August 2018. The shuttles ran between designated pickup and drop off locations in the Entertainment District.
Where does Milo go?
Milo was programmed to run along select off-street trails in Richard Greene Linear Park and Robert Cluck Linear Park. From the designated stops, passengers were taken to their destination along two different routes.
When can I ride Milo?
The shuttles operated approximately one hour before and one hour after events in the Entertainment District. This included Texas Rangers and Dallas Cowboys games, as well as larger concerts and events at either venue.
How many passengers can Milo hold?
Milo held up to 12 passengers, or 10 passengers and one wheelchair.
Is Milo wheelchair accessible?
Yes. The vehicles featured an electronic ramp that extended with the push of a button.
Do I pay a fare?
No, the Milo shuttles were free to the public.
Can I use an app to hail Milo on my phone?
No. Milo riders can only be picked up and dropped off at designated stops in the Entertainment District.
Is Milo safe?
Yes. Although Milo ran autonomously, a certified operator was always on board. The shuttles’ driverless technology came with collision avoidance systems that detected other vehicles, cyclists, pedestrians, and obstacles. It was also equipped with multiple safety features for braking, entry, and exit of the vehicle.
If someone or something falls or jumps in front of the vehicle, will Milo stop?
Yes. Milo was equipped with special sensors that detect objects and individuals on the path. These triggered the vehicle to stop. Additionally, the certified operator on board had the ability to press the emergency stop button at any time.
How fast does Milo go?
In self-driving mode, Milo could reach a top speed of 15 miles per hour. However, on the trail system in the Entertainment District, speeds averaged about 8 to 10 miles per hour.
Will I see Milo on city streets?
No. The shuttles followed pre-programmed routes on off-street trails. Currently, federal rules only permit standard vehicles (with steering wheels and brakes) to operate on public roadways. This may change in the future.
Who operates Milo?
The City of Arlington offered the Milo shuttle service in collaboration with the Arlington Convention & Visitors Bureau, which contracted with First Transit to provide operational services for the shuttles.
If Milo is self-driving, why do you have operators?
Operators provided an additional level of vehicle oversight and customer service.