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Self-Driving Mass Transit Arrives on American Streets

An autonomous electric shuttle in Columbus, Ohio, is the latest in a U.S.-funded program testing new ways to knit cities together.

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When Interstate 71 arrived in Columbus in the 1960s, the South Linden neighborhood was largely cut off from the rest of the city, wedged between railroad tracks to the south and east and the new concrete highway to the west.

More than a half-century later, autonomous technology is helping reconnect South Linden with the rest of Ohio’s capital. An electric-powered shuttle funded mostly by the federal government will give residents access to services that have slowly vanished from the area. The project, called Linden LEAP, will also provide much-needed data for other cities contemplating similar transportation alternatives.