Are Driverless Shuttles Coming to Walt Disney World?


Walt Disney World may be upgrading their transportation system in a big way.  A couple weeks ago, we learned about plans underway to develop a gondola transit system at the resort which would transport guests between select theme parks and resorts. Now,  we are hearing reports about a driverless shuttle system that could be in the works as well.

In a story first reported by the LA Times, Disney is planning to test a driverless shuttle system that would transport passengers through parking lots.  The first test would be conducted later this year in cast-member parking lots.  Then, if all goes well, park guests could start using the shuttle system sometime in 2018.

Two autonomous shuttle manufactures are being considered by Disney.  Both Phoenix-based Local Motors and Paris-based Navya, companies design autonomous, electric-powered shuttles that can hold up to 15 passengers and travel up to 25 mph or more.  The vehicles use programmed radars, lasers and cameras for navigation and to keep the shuttles in a designated zone.  The shuttles are also customizable and could be themed to each theme park.

At this time, there are no plans to use this system at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim.

Disney did not return emails and phone calls from the LA Times seeking comment.