LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- New year, new technology at McCarran International Airport. The tech company Aptiv just launched a self-driving car pilot program.
It's the first airport to allow the autonomous cars, but it's still in the testing phase while Aptiv works out the kinks.
"Our passengers feel our rides are safe, convenient, and reliable,” said Aptiv Managing Director Abe Ghabra.
Locals and tourists can already ride up and down the Strip in a self-driving car. Aptiv teamed up with Lyft two years ago.
"Over the last year and a half we've given close to one hundred thousand rides,” said Ghabra.
They're easy to spot. Aptiv has a fleet of black and white BMWs with orange wheels. They'll take passengers to more than 3,400 destinations in the valley.
Ghabra said Aptiv wants to be able to help lower congestion and other challenges many airports deal with.
Aptiv's pilot program at the airport is only for a select group of people, like Aptiv employees and visitors to the company's technical center.
The tech company was collecting data and learning how robo-taxis work in this environment so they can open it up to the public in the future.
"The idea is to be able to have a very seamless experience ... To be able to use a phone, hail a ride that's completely autonomous and driverless ... Doesn't cause any congestion, doesn't bottleneck the airport going in and out,” said Ghabra.
Aptiv said it's constantly improving its fleet, making the cars more human-like . They're programmed to predict people's behavior.
"We had a jay walker jump in the middle of the road and the car slowed down like any responsible human driver would,” Ghabra said in 2019.
All Aptiv cars have real humans, a safety driver in the car. Aptiv said eventually, it will just be the passengers and the car.