BOCA RATON, Fla. — The future has arrived in Boca Raton.
The city is now testing self-driving cars with the hope of eventually adding them alongside drivers on the road.
The nation's first autonomous vehicle remote control command center will be headquartered in the city. It will be led by several tech companies including CP Group, Guident Corp., and Perrone Robotics, Inc.
"It's a great moment for our city to seize the leadership in this new technology," Boca Raton Mayor Scott Singer said. "To have a company headquartered here that's a leader just speaks volumes in what we mean for tech."
Cars will be tested on the Boca Raton Innovation Campus. This launch comes as self-driving technology has picked up in the last few years.
"This time is different because No. 1 we have a couple of enablers," Harold Braun, executive chairman at Guident Corp., said. "We have a 5G connectivity which of course is an enabler. We have also, in certain states, laws which require that we have some sort of human intervention when you have autonomous vehicles on public roads."
An operator in the command center will be monitoring the cars and ready to remotely drive if something goes wrong.
"By quarter three or four of this year, which is coming up, we'll be starting to operate these in public roads in different parts of the country," Paul Perrone, founder and CEO of Perrone Robotics, Inc., said.
This also brings the potential to bring driverless buses into the city's public transit system.
"We all know that the future is going to include autonomous vehicles," Singer said. "That technology is ready to be implemented. It will take some time to get it done nationwide, but we see a future there."