Now, the city is ready to take the next step and put autonomous vehicles on the streets of Arlington. It won't be the slow-moving Milo vehicles but something that travels a little faster.
The Arlington City Council heard a proposal Tuesday to start a mixed pilot project placing autonomous vehicles in the entertainment district by this fall.
The plan calls for three to seven vehicles traveling no faster than 35 mph for day-to-day and special event service. The vehicles would likely include safety driver and remote tele-operators. The cost would be $550-$650,000, including $350,000 in federal funding.
The Milo one-year pilot project is scheduled to end in August.
"I think this is a huge step we need to take for us to be competitive moving forward," said Mayor Jeff Williams.
The city plans to send out a request for proposals from vendors with the plan of approving a contract in August. The timeline calls for having the vehicles on the road by October for the 2018 Texas Mobility Summit that's being held in Arlington.
The city is also considering becoming the first Texas city to test robotic personal delivery devices on city sidewalks. The vehicles would be no wider than 26 inches, typically traveling 3 to 4 mph and going a distance of only 1 to 2 miles.
A vendor has approached the city about testing the vehicles in the city. Testing could begin in late summer or early fall.
The city is also meeting with the University of Texas at Arlington about possibly being a partner in the project. The delivery vehicles, which are ideal for groceries or small packages, could also potentially be used on the campus.
"This is one element of companies that are now emerging for local companies to combat Amazon," Williams said.