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Beverly Hills plans driverless shuttle fleet

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A driverless bus?
A driverless bus?

Beverly Hills, California, hopes to partner with the likes of Alphabet and Tesla to add autonomous vehicles to its public transportation system.

The move is expected to involve a fleet of "driverless municipal shuttles," the city said earlier this month. To help kick off the program's development, Beverly Hills will hold a summit this fall with autonomous vehicle experts, panel discussions and demonstrations.

Beverly Hills said the driverless shuttles would provide "on-demand, point-to-point transportation" with users requesting rides with their smartphones. The city did not give an expected year that the fleet would be operational.

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Earlier this month, Alphabet's Google said it would expand its self-driving car test grounds to include Phoenix, after testing its car for six years in Mountain View, California.

Beverly Hills residents may have to wait a bit longer if fully autonomous vehicles don't prove to be roadworthy at first. According to a recent study by the Rand Corp., autonomous vehicles would have to travel hundreds of millions of miles to effectively determine their reliability, and that could take tens or even hundreds of years in some cases.