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News, Analysis & Perspective on Autonomous Vehicles

Autonomous shuttles in Northern Virginia suburb show why the future of robot cars might be slow

At a building site in Reston, there is something small and quiet on the roads alongside big noisy dump trucks: automated shuttles that ferry office workers whose routines have been disrupted by the construction.

The shuttles’ job is to make runs from parking lots that have been shifted farther from people’s offices. But when the new offices, apartments and stores go up on the 36-acre Halley Rise development in Northern Virginia and a Metro station opens nearby, the company that operates them hopes the vehicles will speed people on the first or last mile of their daily commute.

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