Mcity Driverless Shuttle back in service at NCRC; survey underway


The Mcity Driverless Shuttle is again carrying riders after being temporarily suspended to accommodate University of Michigan construction projects along the shuttle route at the North Campus Research Complex.

Service resumed last week for the two driverless shuttles that Mcity operates at NCRC as part of a research project designed to gauge consumer acceptance of automated vehicle technologies.

Consumer trust in driverless vehicles has eroded in the wake of two fatal crashes in 2018 involving automated cars. According to a recent report from AAA, 71 percent of U.S. adults remain fearful of riding in fully self-driving vehicles.

J.D. Power, a global market research company working with Mcity, is surveying Mcity Driverless Shuttle passengers, as well as pedestrians, bicyclists and other drivers who interact with the shuttle. Initial survey results show high levels of satisfaction and trust in the technology among riders.

Not surprisingly, during the first few months of operation, most riders rode the shuttle out of curiosity and interest in the automated technology. As the shuttle continues to operate on campus, Mcity hopes to better understand the reasons for repeat ridership.

Photo of Mcity Driverless Shuttle
One of two fully automated, 11-passenger, all-electric driverless shuttles serving the NCRC. (Photo by Roger Hart, Michigan Photography)

Passengers are encouraged to share their experience by completing the J.D. Power survey each time they ride the shuttle. This information helps researchers understand consumer experience over time and the decision factors impacting the acceptance of automated vehicle technology.

J.D. Power and Micty also want to understand the experience of non-riders, who play an integral role in the research.

A “non-rider” is any individual who sees the shuttle operating on campus or interacts with it in any way as a pedestrian, bicyclist or motorist sharing the roadway with the shuttle. Non-riders can share their experience by completing the survey as well.

Riders and non-riders can complete the survey more than once, and are encouraged to do so, particularly if their feedback changes.

The J.D. Power survey is accessible by texting “mcity” to 63566 or by going to online.

The shuttle is open to members of the U-M community. It runs between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday-Friday, weather permitting. During operation, shuttles are trackable using the DoubleMap website or the DoubleMap app.


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