Silicon Valley self-driving startup Drive.ai said on Monday it will launch a pilot program for an autonomous ride-hailing service in July in Frisco, Texas, with safety drivers present.

The initial pilot will run for six months and will be the first public deployments on Texas city streets, the company said.

"Today definitely marks a mobility milestone for our entire region," said Frisco Mayor Jeff Cheney. "It also gets us closer to achieving one of our council's 'Top Ten' goals, which is to improve traffic throughout Frisco, one of the fastest growing cities in the country."

Drive.ai, one of the handful startups in the self-driving technology, competes with big names such as Alphabet Inc's Waymo and Uber Technologies Inc, General Motors Co and Toyota Motor Corp.

Waymo, which has been working on self-driving cars since 2009 and has driven over 5 million miles on public roads, has announced plans to launch a fully autonomous ride-hailing service in Phoenix, Arizona in the coming months.

California-based Drive.ai, founded in 2015, is developing artificial intelligence software for autonomous vehicles using deep learning.

Reporting by Sonam Rai and Alexandria Sage.

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