According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, Disney is in the late stages of negotiations with at least two different companies to bring driver-less shuttles to Walt Disney World. If this project comes to fruition it would be the highest profile deployment of driver-less cars since Uber and Google began testing their programs. The reported companies that Disney is in talks with include Local Motors, based in Phoenix, and Nvya, based in Paris. It’s unclear if Disney would move forward with both or just one of these companies.
Sources, who asked not to be identified so as not to offend Disney, tell the Times that later this year the company is hoping to kick-off a pilot program with these shuttles. The end goal would be that they would begin transporting guests as early as next year.
The sources also stated that there are no current plans for driverless shuttles to be tested at Disneyland. It is assumed that Disney is making this choice because there are less restrictions on driverless vehicles in Florida than California, who is currently overhauling their regulations.
When asked for a comment about this project Disney did not respond, while Navya and Local Motors both declined to comment.
If this project does indeed come to fruition, the Disney parks seem like the ideal home for testing such cutting-edge technology. When Disneyland opened in 1955, Walt Disney himself dedicated Tomorrowland with these words: “A vista into a world of wondrous ideas, signifying man’s achievements … a step into the future, with predictions of constructive things to come.”
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Source/Image Credit : LA Times