The Mcity Driverless Shuttle will begin operating on North Campus on June 4. It is the nation’s first driverless vehicle research project focusing on user behavior and data collection.
The project will use two fully automated, 11-passenger, all-electric shuttles manufactured by French firm NAVYA. The shuttle will cover a roughly one-mile round-trip route contained to the North Campus Research Complex, carrying students, faculty and staff to the complex from more distant parking.
It will also provide easy access to the U-M/Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority bus stop at Hubbard and Hayward streets. Future plans include route expansion and accessibility research.
In the project, Mcity will study how passengers and others react to the driverless shuttle as a way to gauge consumer acceptance of the technology. Interior cameras will record the reactions of riders inside the shuttle. This includes the use of video and audio recordings, and photographs from the videos. Exterior cameras will capture the behavior of other road users, including other vehicles, bicyclists and pedestrians.
Working with J.D. Power, Mcity will also survey riders about their experience. The data collected will help researchers understand user trust over time, as well as how to design safer vehicles and how to operate them more efficiently.
The shuttles will run on U-M roads roughly every 10 minutes from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, weather permitting.
Stops are outside the Building 10 entrance on the north side of NCRC, off Plymouth Road and Huron Parkway, and on the south side of the complex, in the NC91 parking lot, just off Baxter Road.
There will be no cost to ride. Conductors will be on board in case of emergencies. Safety belts are required. Large cameras with tripods are not permitted on board the shuttle for safety reasons.
Mcity is a U-M-led public-private partnership to accelerate advanced mobility vehicles and technologies.