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Oxa, a UK-based provider of self-driving vehicle software, has made a significant stride in the autonomous transportation sector by launching its first commercial Oxa Driver product in passenger shuttles in Jacksonville, Florida. This milestone is a result of a partnership between Oxa, US shuttle service provider Beep, the Jacksonville Transport Authority (JTA), and the Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ).

The autonomous shuttles are part of an AV program licensed by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), marking a significant step towards the city’s major investment in autonomous transport. The initiative aims to position JTA and FSCJ as leaders in autonomous transportation, setting a precedent for other cities to follow.

Oxa Driver is designed to enable vehicle automation independent of human control, offering a glimpse into the future of transportation. However, to ensure passenger safety and build trust in the technology, trained safety attendants will be present on the FSCJ route during the initial rollout. This approach aims to ease passengers into the self-driving experience while providing a safety net.

Gavin Jackson, CEO of Oxa, believes that the future of AV technology lies in the mass movement of people and goods, particularly in shared passenger systems and industrial logistics. He emphasizes the potential of autonomy to address severe driver shortages while delivering significant public and business benefits in a cost-effective manner.

Professor Paul Newman CBE, Founder and Chief Technology Officer of Oxa, reflects on the company’s journey since its inception in 2014. He envisioned autonomous vehicles as a force for good, not only enhancing driving safety but also elevating possibilities for people. The deployment of Oxa Driver in passenger shuttles, particularly in a community’s regeneration efforts, is a testament to the alignment of science with purpose and financial viability.

Nat Ford, CEO of JTA, highlights the collaborative effort between the private and public sectors, including the U.S. Department of Transportation, in bringing this initiative to fruition. The introduction of AVs in the FSCJ campus and the wider Jacksonville community is expected to showcase the tangible benefits they bring, further solidifying the city’s commitment to embracing cutting-edge technology for the betterment of its residents.

The launch of commercial self-driving shuttles in Jacksonville represents a significant step forward in the autonomous transportation landscape. It underscores the potential of AV technology to revolutionize the way people and goods are transported, addressing critical challenges such as driver shortages and enhancing safety and efficiency. As the initiative expands to other cities in the US and UK in 2024, it sets the stage for a future where autonomous vehicles play a central role in shaping sustainable and innovative transportation solutions.


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