Free ‘A2GO’ autonomous shuttle coming to Ann Arbor this fall
ANN ARBOR – A new transportation service will soon offer individuals free rides to the city center.
University of Michigan May Mobility, Mcity and Ann Arbor SPARK announced the launch of the new A2GO autonomous vehicle shuttle service during Ann Arbor SPARK’s annual meeting on Tuesday.
The shuttle service will begin operating October 11, and was made possible in part by a grant from Michigan State’s mobility efforts.
Other partners in the project are 4M,! Major Security Technologies, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, and the Office of Future Mobility and Electrification.
“We’re excited to be launching a new shuttle service here in our hometown so that our friends, family and the entire Ann Arbor community can experience our self-driving technology firsthand,” said May Mobility Founder and CEO Edwin Olson, in a publication.
A fleet of five autonomous shared vehicles is operated by May Mobility, including an all-electric Polaris GEM vehicle and four hybrid-electric Lexus RH 450h vehicles. The Polaris offers space for one wheelchair user and the Lexus RX 450h for three passengers.
The service operates around Kerrytown, the State Street corridor, and the University of Michigan central campus.
Shortly before the launch, May Mobility will publish a free app that users can use to reserve journeys on A2GO.
“This deployment demonstrates the collaboration in Michigan in the public and private sectors leading to effective transportation solutions for individuals and creating an environment in which companies like May Mobility can grow and thrive over the long term,” said Michigan State Chief Mobility Officer. Trevor Pawl said in a press release.
“A2GO combines Michigan’s opportunistic approach to advancing new mobility technologies with our commitment to improving the quality of life for people across the state. We are excited to bring this innovative shuttle service from May Mobility to Ann Arbor.”
Since the autonomous shuttle company May Mobility went into operation, the company has launched a shuttle service in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Hiroshima, Japan, Arlington, Texas, and is scheduled to launch a new service in Indianapolis, Indiana in June. A2GO is the company’s eighth shuttle operation.
“The A2GO service requires the support of the community and strategic partners with common goals to provide fair and sustainable public transport,” says a press release. “This unique service shows how the mobility landscape is developing. Partners represent transportation, security, land use and economic development. A prime example of how mobility can impact economic development and land use is 4M, Ann Arbor’s first cohabiting townhouse to offer collaboration and mobility solutions to its members. “
Greg McGuire, Mcity’s assistant director, said automated vehicle technology has great potential.
“We demonstrated this with the Mcity Driverless Shuttle research project, which was completed in 2019,” said McGuire in a press release. “Ultimately, however, the technology must be proven as the basis for a valuable transportation service.
“A2GO takes Mcity from academic research to a more public arena. We’re moving from the laboratory to the living laboratory, if you will. And we will measure the results in a way that more realistically reflects the potential for AV services to integrate seamlessly with existing public transportation systems and make transportation more accessible to more people. “
! Important Safety is a Montreal-based company that has had its US headquarters in Ann Arbor SPARK since 2019. The pedestrian safety company said the project will enable real-time development of its technology that prevents collisions by communicating with nearby AV equipment.
“Ann Arbor proves once again that it is a powerhouse for innovation with its A2GO mobility initiative and! Important is proud to be a part of it,” said the CEO of! Important Bastien Beauchamp in a press release. “The city’s A2GO initiative brings security to the fore by integrating it into our free smartphone security app for the people of Ann Arbor.”
The service is an example of Ann Arbor SPARK’s ability to connect companies and form partnerships to advance technology and collaboration in the region.
“Bringing together companies like May Mobility and! Important Safety is one way that SPARK’s work will advance our economies and ensure that the technology our future requires is developed here in the Ann Arbor area,” said Paul Krutko, President and Ann Arbor SPARK CEO, in a press release.
“The power of partnerships is evident in May. Mobility and! Critical safety work together to improve the safety of autonomous vehicles. This is critical to pedestrian safety and consumer acceptance of this new technology. It’s exciting that work developed and tested in Ann Arbor has a potential global impact. “
Copyright 2021 by WDIV ClickOnDetroit – All rights reserved.