Holiday shopping, curiosity about AV tech attract riders to A2GO
Shopping was one of the most popular reasons for using the A2GO autonomous shuttle service in December, along with curiosity about autonomous vehicle technology.
Mcity joined May Mobility and several other partners in October 2021 to launch A2GO, a free, public on-demand autonomous shuttle service that connects the University of Michigan campus, Kerrytown, and the State Street Corridor in Ann Arbor.
After three months of operation, A2GO continues drawing steady ridership, compiling a strong safety record, and attracting more community interest in autonomous vehicle technology.
A2GO drew nearly 600 riders in October and close to 620 in November. As expected, ridership dropped in December, to 465 passengers, as U-M, other schools, and many businesses were off for the holidays. The shuttle did not run on Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve.
The peak time for riding was around 5-6pm all three months. The highest ridership day in December was Wednesday, compared to Tuesday in November and Friday in October.
The A2GO service area connects the University of Michigan campus with Kerrytown and the State Street corridor in Ann Arbor.
The most popular pickup and drop off location in December and October was the U-M stop near the corner of State and William streets on U-M’s central campus. In November, the U-M stop was the most popular dropoff stop, while most pickups were requested for U-M’s South Quad area at Packard and Thompson streets.
Riders are asked to assign a star rating of their experience. The average rating so far has been 4.81 out of 5 stars. In addition, a short survey is being used to gather additional insights from riders. The survey, available through support from Mcity, includes seven questions to learn more about a range of topics, including rider demographics and ways to improve the shuttle service.
One enhancement made from rider feedback is updating the May Mobility app to display shuttle stop locations when a rider requests a ride through the app. A2GO is an on-demand service that picks up and drops riders off at nearby stops, but not door-to-door, which had created some confusion among potential riders.
“All in all, our teams are satisfied with the progress that we’re making,” said Allison Hegarty, customer success manager for May Mobility, which operates A2GO. “The positive response from our community and riders make us optimistic on what the future holds and the impact that we’re making within Ann Arbor.”
The A2GO fleet includes five autonomous, shared, on-demand vehicles: four hybrid-electric Lexus RX 450h vehicles (with three passenger capacity) and one Polaris GEM fully electric vehicle (with capacity for one wheelchair passenger). The service is operated by May Mobility. Rides are ordered from the free May Mobility app available through Apple’s App Store or Google Play.
Additional partners on A2GO include Ann Arbor SPARK, !important Safety Technologies, 4M, the state of Michigan’s Office of Future Mobility and Electrification and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.