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What Makes Houston So Attractive For Driverless Delivery?

Self-driving vehicles are becoming more common and in many cases, Houston is where they’re being tested.

Last week, Domino’s announced it will launch its first self-driving pizza delivery in Houston. And earlier this year, Kroger chose the Bayou City as one of its first places for driverless grocery delivery.

So what is it about Houston that makes it an attractive city for companies to test out their autonomous vehicles?

Chris Newport, senior manager with tech consulting firm Accenture in Houston, thinks there are a few reasons – economic, structural, environmental and cultural.

“We have in Houston an electrical grid that’s been designed to meet a high demand for power and to do so in a resilient way,” he said. “And our transportation network has been largely designed for cars.”

Other factors he mentioned are Houston’s strong population growth, climate, flat geography and tradition of welcoming innovative services.

In addition to the corporate driverless vehicles, Metro also launched Houston’s first self-driving shuttle at Texas Southern University last week. Metro aims to use it as a pilot program to see how else autonomous vehicles could be used in the region.

Newport ties these developments in with other recent steps toward making Houston more of a tech innovation city.

“These projects are another instance of new investment being made here that’s just going to enhance our positioning on the global stage and make us more attractive to create more wind that’s going to lead to more growth for our region,” he said.

You can watch a video of Domino’s autonomous pizza delivery vehicle, courtesy of Domino’s, below:

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Florian Martin

Florian Martin

Business Reporter

Florian Martin is currently the News 88.7 business reporter. Florian’s stories can frequently be heard on other public radio stations throughout Texas and on NPR nationwide. Some of them have earned him awards from Texas AP Broadcasters, the Houston Press Club, National Association of Real Estate Editors, and Public Radio...

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