Self-Driving Mini Bus Tours Riverfront In West Sacto

Miniature buses that can drive themselves were 'rolled out' on Tuesday for a demonstration of a possible option for transportation around a popular entertainment and business district in West Sacramento. 

The battery-powered autonomous vehicles can carry you and about ten of your friends along a pre-programmed route - complete with automated stops - for between six and 12 hours on a single charge.

The vehicles were demonstrated in the Raley Field parking lot as a possible option for transportation around West Sacramento's Bridge District, where thousands flock for ballgames or a night out at The Barn.

West Sac city councilman, Chris Ledesma, said they are used to one mode of transportation: large buses.  "They're expensive to operate," Ledesma said. "We're also looking at other transportation modes, be it shared ride services or bike share is the other one, and street car - those are other ways you can move people around.  Our goal is to have lots of options."

The mini buses would come with a conductor until the DMV sets rules for self-driving vehicles, but these are capable of stopping pretty quickly to avoid a crash if a person or object gets in front of them. 

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