Driverless shuttles could be making a national debut at San Ramon's Bishop Ranch under an agreement announced Monday between public and private entities.
EasyMile, a French company that provides shared driverless transportation, announced it has forged a partnership with GoMentum Station, the Contra Costa Transportation Authority's Concord testing ground for autonomous vehicles.
Based on the collaboration, a pilot project is being launched in summer 2016 that will start by bringing two driverless shuttles to Bishop Ranch for prototype testing.
The shuttles are designed to take passengers a short distance at low speeds and are meant to compliment already existing public transportation options.
Bishop Ranch, a 585-acre office park featuring big-name businesses such as AT&T, Chevron and General Electric, would become the country's first place where the vehicles have been deployed, according to EasyMile.
EasyMile representatives said the shuttles have been successfully deployed in Finland, France, Italy, Spain and Switzerland.
The CCTA's GoMentum Station brings together automobile manufacturers, technology companies, researchers and others to advance transportation infrastructure.
Randell Iwasaki, CCTA's executive director, said the EasyMile partnership could usher in a new generation of transportation in the county, and perhaps the country.
"This technology offers an innovative, new approach to helping travelers get to transit stations, business districts and other local amenities without the hassle of driving and parking, which could be a replicable solution for many urban and suburban communities," Iwasaki said in a statement.