Thursday, January 20, 2022

Colorado launches ‘America’s largest fleet of autonomous, electric shuttles’

Autonomous Vehicles Colorado (AvCo) says it has launched “America’s largest fleet of low-speed, autonomous electric shuttles in multiple cities across Colorado”.

Service in the first of three locations officially launched a couple of days ago at Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado.

The autonomous shuttle buses will connect Mines students, faculty, staff, and the general public with key destinations in the city and around campus that currently lack convenient mobility options.

The shuttles will safely navigate regular traffic using advanced sensors and technology, signaling a major step forward for the industry and the largest opportunity yet for the public to experience an autonomous public transit service. All autonomous Shuttles are geofenced and the speed is capped.

easymile ez10
easymile ez10

Tyler Svitak, executive director of the Colorado Smart Cities Alliance, the nonprofit at the center of the AvCo program, says: “When people think of autonomous vehicles today, they see themselves riding alone – separated from other people and the overall transportation system.

“We want AvCo to change that perception by allowing people to experience how these technologies can maximize individual and societal benefits through integration with a shared public transit system.

“AvCo is a historic step forward for many important industries, including connected and autonomous vehicles, public transportation, and smart cities. What we learn here will help accelerate safer, cleaner, more accessible mobility for all.”

The first phase of the program includes a fleet of nine driverless, zero-emission EZ10 shuttles from Company EasyMile. Easymile recently raised new funds to expand the Company.

The low-speed shuttle service in Golden is designed to operate in normal traffic and is named The Mines Rover.

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The service will be free of charge and available to the public. Each shuttle can hold six seated passengers, and each shuttle will also have an onboard customer service ambassador, a trained Mines student, who will engage with riders and take over manual control of the shuttle if necessary.

The shuttle will operate along three fixed routes with designated shuttle stops and will arrive every 5-10 minutes along the routes.

Paul C. Johnson, president of Colorado School of Mines, says: “At Colorado School of Mines, our students and faculty are conducting research on the cutting edge of autonomous and intelligent systems.

“This partnership is a natural extension of our mission of advancing knowledge and innovations that will have a transformative impact on society.

“We are excited and proud that Mines and our hometown of Golden will be the test bed for this new technology, which will lead to new developments in how it is improved and scaled up so that the environmental and human benefits can be extended well beyond Mines, Golden, and our state.”

The City of Golden has been an essential partner to the success of this project, helping to design and support implementation of the autonomous transit service in the City.

Golden Mayor Laura Weinberg says of the project: “The City of Golden is thrilled to be the first city in Colorado to offer zero-emission, autonomous microtransit. We thank our partners on this collaboration and the opportunity to advance our transportation sector community goals of 20 percent fossil fuel-free by 2030 and 100 percent fossil fuel-free by 2050.”

The EZ10 shuttles are 100 percent electric. The shuttles are ADA accessible and will show how people with disabilities can have enhanced mobility options from this technology.

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Phases two and three of AvCo plan to launch in Greenwood Village and Colorado Springs, respectively, over the course of the next year to demonstrate the shuttles’ ability to operate in different environments, reduce carbon emissions associated with transit and fill different mobility gaps across the state.

John Hickenlooper, US Senator for Colorado, says: “We are proud to further support Colorado’s position as a hub for advancing technology and innovation.

“Automation and electrification are promising opportunities to improve transportation safety, cost, and environmental impact.”

Hi I'm Leanne. I'm a big fan of electric cars (drive a Model 3 myself) and support the movement to go electric! I hope you enjoy my Articles here on the website.
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