Paradise Valley Estates residents take first rides in self-driving vehicles
Paradise Valley Estates was announced as test site for Boston-based Optimus Ride’s self-driving vehicles in the spring of 2019. Last month, the first PVE residents — our alpha test group —had the opportunity to test out riding in a geo-fenced, autonomous electric vehicle on the community’s roadways.
On November 18, the alpha testers gathered to experience their first ride and learned to use the vehicle app to request a ride. The alpha group, which will continue to use the vehicles during the testing phase, will later expand to include additional testers in 2020. More than 20 residents have already expressed interest in joining the expanded test group.
During the alpha testing, residents will be able to access vehicles through the vehicles’ reservation and on-demand ride services to travel to and from community homes, and to community and activity hubs on the PVE campus.
Kevin Burke, CEO of Paradise Valley Estates, sees the vehicles as an enhancement to the community’s laidback lifestyle not just a novelty. “We are constantly exploring new ways of innovating within our industry,” he explains. “With Optimus Ride’s self-driving system, we can attract an increasingly tech savvy population seeking independent mobility. It also improves the daily experiences and the quality of life for our residents by enabling them to travel easily and safely throughout our community.”