The goal to have a fleet of autonomous vehicles transport fans to the Sacramento King's season opener Wednesday, will not roll out as planned. But, despite the setback, the city still wants to make Sacramento a testing ground for the new technology.
This past spring, Sacramento Kings owner Vivek Ranadive announced an ambitious goal to have 50 fans ride in driverless cars to the season opener that — at the time — was scheduled for early November.
The NBA decided to move up the season by a couple of weeks, and the car companies told the city they were more interested in solid testing plans than a PR campaign.
So, the event will not take place.
Louis Stewart is the City of Sacramento's Chief Innovation Officer.
"Truth be told, we were all looking forward to having these cars on the road at the start of the season."
He says plans are still in place however to bring autonomous technology to the area for testing and implementation.
Stewart says it's a top priority for Mayor Darrell Steinberg and the city is in discussions with a wide range of companies.
"I would say that we're talking to everyone from the GMs and Googles of the world, to the Drive A-Is, a start up company out of Mountain View."
Stewart says the city is looking for autonomous demonstration routes that will include the entire city and not just the downtown grid, as was originally envisioned.