Self-driving cars from Optimus Ride are now navigating DC’s waterfront, available for pick-ups in the Yards with access to Barracks Row and Capitol Hill. Rides are currently limited to a select group of tenants in waterfront apartment buildings, similar to when the service made its DC-area debut at the Halley Rise mixed-use development in Reston.
The launch is happening incrementally, beginning with drivers in the vehicle and cruising towards the eventual goal of fully autonomous rides. Starting with human operators is a safety measure that allows the cars to learn their surroundings through data collection before they set out on their own.
Upon downloading the Opti Ride App, passengers can reserve a ride up to a week in advance of their journey. Currently, only a limited group of people in four apartment buildings—Guild, Twelve12, Foundry Lofts, and Estate—have the ability to book a trip. Access will expand to all residents of the Yards in March, and later to the general public.
The service will start with two stops in the Yards, and five destinations sprinkled across Barracks Row and Capitol Hill, with more on the way. Here’s a look at the drop-off and pick-up points.