Mcity Driverless Shuttle launches June 4

May 30, 2018
MCity's autonomous shuttle making its rounds at NCRC on the University of Michigan's North Campus.

The Mcity Driverless Shuttle will start carrying riders on Monday, June 4, on the University of Michigan’s North Campus. This is the first driverless shuttle project in the United States with a primary focus on user behavior research 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. It will carry students, faculty, and staff to the complex from more distant parking, and 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.

Map of University of Michigan North Campus Mcity Driverless Shuttle Route
Mcity Driverless Shuttle Route Map. The current route is marked with a solid red line and the planned future route with a dotted red line.

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. There will be no cost to ride.

A conductor will be on board at all times who can stop the shuttle if necessary for safety reasons. Large cameras will not be permitted on board. All riders will be required to wear seat belts.

Mcity is a U-M-led public-private partnership to accelerate advanced mobility vehicles and technologies.