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A driverless car company is testing autonomous vehicles in Charlotte

rider in driverless car
Handout Art
A Cruise passenger in a driverless taxi in San Francisco.

Driverless taxi company Cruise, a driverless taxi company, is road-testing its vehicles on Charlotte streets through Saturday.

During testing, its taxis will not actually be driverless. They’ll be driven by a person to gather data and get to know Charlotte’s roads and driving behaviors. Cruise has launched driverless taxi services in San Francisco, Phoenix and Austin.

City of Charlotte spokesman Lawrence Corley said the city doesn’t have the power to regulate Cruise’s tests, but the company did give a heads-up.

"Cruise cars will have a driver behind the wheel at all times, and vehicles will not be operated autonomously at this time. Per Cruise, these data tests are being conducted as they are getting to know Charlotte’s roads/driving behaviors before going driverless. The company contacted the city last week as a courtesy notice, however they do not need the city’s permission to perform data testing," Corley said. "Their operations are regulated at the state level."

Most of the Cruise tests in Charlotte will be in uptown and immediate surrounding neighborhoods, Corley said. The company did not respond to a request for more information.

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Kenny is a Maryland native who began his career in media as a sportswriter at Tuskegee University, covering SIAC sports working for the athletic department and as a sports correspondent for the Tuskegee Campus Digest. Following his time at Tuskegee, he was accepted to the NASCAR Diversity Internship Program as a Marketing Intern for The NASCAR Foundation in Daytona Beach, Florida in 2017.