Why Texas’s new ‘smart’ wheels could be the next big thing in ride-hailing cars
A new kind of ride-sharing car may be coming to Texas.
The state is set to start a pilot program that will allow owners to request a ride from a vehicle equipped with a network of sensors that detect when a car is parked, ready to pick up passengers or if someone is trying to steal a ride.
The program, dubbed “Texas Smart” by state transportation officials, will begin in 2019 and expand to other cities, including Austin, the state capital, and San Antonio.
“We’re taking a big step forward in Texas,” said Chris Nocera, an associate director for Texas’s Department of Transportation, in a news conference announcing the program.
“With our Smart City program, Texas is now leading the nation in the use of ride sharing technology.”
SmartCity is an ambitious initiative to get Texans to use ride-share services like Uber and Lyft to drive and shop without the fear of being flagged as a potential criminal or distracted by a ride-seeking vehicle.
It was announced last year by the Texas Department of Public Safety and Homeland Security.
The Texas program is similar to a similar pilot program in Los Angeles, which was launched in late 2017 and was supposed to last about two years.
The goal is to see whether the technology will help Texans avoid costly traffic tickets and fines, as well as improve safety.
But it has already raised questions about the safety of the technology.
For one, some people have reported being unable to unlock their ride-purchase cards or even change the destination on their own.
And there’s a big question mark about whether the tech will actually work for everyone.
There’s also the question of whether the data collected by the vehicles can be used to help law enforcement.
And some privacy advocates worry that the vehicles could also be used for nefarious purposes.
“The technology has not yet been vetted by a human being,” said Mark Bales, the founder of Texas Privacy Watch, a privacy group.
“It’s too early to say if the data will be used as a source of evidence or used to identify individuals.”
There are currently more than 200,000 ride-shares in Texas, but the program is expected to grow to about 1 million by 2019, said Mike Nocer, the assistant director of the Texas Office of Transportation and Infrastructure, which oversees the pilot program.
The government expects that as many as 40,000 people will participate.
The pilot program is funded with $10 million from the state and is scheduled to be up and running for two years, but officials expect it will expand to more cities and counties over the next few years.
“This pilot will be a game changer,” said Nocero.
“Texas has always had a smart, connected culture.
Now we have a smart city that’s actually a smart community.
We’ve never seen anything like this before.”
In order to use the vehicles, you will need to buy a membership that will provide you with a number of services, such as a smartphone app, a dashboard camera and more.
You will also need a driver’s license or a valid photo ID.
The driver will have to agree to follow traffic rules and be on the road at all times.
The system uses a “smart driver” to keep track of your location and alert the owner when the vehicle is parked or ready to take passengers.
The data collected from the vehicles will be stored in a database, which is protected by a password.
The technology has never been tested by a third party, so there is no proof that it will work for all drivers.
The vehicles are only available to people 21 and older.
The vehicle owners will be able to pay a fee for the service, which will be capped at $10 per person.
The $10 fee will be applied to the first 30 trips a user makes, and the remaining charges will be added to the user’s monthly bill.
There are about 150 participating cities, with other cities expected to join the program over time.