Self-driving shuttles ready for launch in Providence

One of the first self-driving automobiles to legally traverse Rhode Island roadways rolled up to a stop sign in a quiet corner of the Quonset Business Park Wednesday afternoon, activated its directional signal and, without incident or fully coming to a stop, successfully turned right.

A few yards behind it was another white six-seater autonomous shuttle bus, part of a mini fleet the state Department of Transportation is now testing as it begins a pilot program to see how robot drivers interact with their human counterparts on local roads.

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