Answers to your questions about the Mcity Driverless Shuttle.
1. What is the Mcity Driverless Shuttle project?
The Mcity Driverless Shuttle is a research project that will help us understand the challenges and opportunities presented by driverless shuttles and how riders, pedestrians, and other vehicles interact with them. We are using two fully-automated, 11-passenger, all-electric shuttles manufactured by French firm NAVYA to transport students, faculty, and staff on a non-stop one-mile route at U-M’s North Campus Research Complex (NCRC) on Plymouth Road. Future plans include route expansion and accessibility research.
2. Will I be able to ride the shuttle from my dorm room to my classes?
The Mcity Driverless Shuttle may one day augment U-M’s busy campus bus service to provide an on-demand mobility option. At this time, it will operate only on the current route.
3. What hours will the shuttle operate?
Hours of operation are Monday–Friday, 9 am–3 pm, weather permitting.
4. Who can ride the Mcity Driverless Shuttle?
The shuttle will be used to transport members of the U-M community, including students, faculty, and staff, and their escorted guests. Guests must be at least 18 years old. Riders may be asked to provide university identification to the safety conductor.
5. What do I have to do to prepare to ride the shuttle?
No special preparation will be needed. Just hop on board and buckle up.
6. What kind of vehicle is the Mcity Driverless Shuttle?
The Mcity Driverless Shuttle project uses the AUTONOM Shuttle, manufactured by French firm NAVYA. The AUTONOM Shuttle is an electric, driverless shuttle.
7. Is the NAYVA Autonom Shuttle fully automated?
The AUTONOM Shuttle operates along a prescribed route. It is speed-limited and inclement-weather limited, and can operate without a human being at the controls. But there will be a safety conductor on board to monitor the operation of the shuttle, and to stop the shuttle if necessary for safety reasons, throughout the duration of the Mcity Driverless Shuttle research project.
8. How does the NAYVA AUTONOM Shuttle drive itself?
The AUTONOM Shuttle is equipped with lidar, which uses invisible laser beams to build a view of the surrounding environment, and GPS for localization. The data from these technologies enables the AUTONOM Shuttle to detect and avoid obstacles as the vehicle travels along a programmed route.
9. Will there be a person on board to oversee the shuttle’s operation?
Yes. A safety conductor is on the shuttle at all times. The conductor does not drive the vehicle – there is no steering wheel – but the conductor will have the ability to manually stop the shuttle if necessary for safety reasons.
10. What route will the shuttle take?
The shuttle will travel on a non-stop, one-mile route at the North Campus Research Complex (NCRC) near Plymouth Road. There are two stops, a north stope at Building 10 at NCRC, and a south stop inside parking lot NC91. The south stop provides easy access to a University of Michigan/Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority bus stop.
11. How long is the route?
The route is about one mile round-trip, and will run roughly every 10 minutes.
12. Will U-M be the first university to use driverless shuttles on campus?
As far as we know, the Mcity Driverless Shuttle is the first shuttle project in the United States that focuses on consumer research. The research will help us learn more about the challenges and opportunities presented by this type of mobility service and how people interact with it.
13. How safe is the NAYVA AUTONOM Shuttle?
The shuttle’s sensors continuously scan the vehicle’s surroundings, and the vehicle stops when an obstacle is detected in its path. As an added measure, a conductor is on board during these tests, and can manually stop the shuttle if needed for safety.
14. Will the shuttle be driving along other vehicles on the road?
Yes, the shuttle will share the road with other vehicles.
15. Is the NAYVA being used anywhere else in the world?
Yes. AUTONOM Shuttles are on the road in countries all over the world. They’re designed for use at a broad range of sites that need efficient, convenient, and safe first and last mile transportation – places such as airports, city centers, and large campus-like environments.
16. How does the Mcity Driverless Shuttle work with U-M’s bus service?
The shuttles are operated by U-M Transportation, Logistics and Parking, but not as a primary transportation service of the university. At this stage, the shuttle is primarily a research deployment managed by Mcity.
17. What is Mcity?
Mcity is a U-M led public-private partnership dedicated to accelerating the development and deployment of connected and automated vehicles to improve traffic safety, conserve energy, and provide transportation options to those who may not have access today. In addition to supporting deployments of automated vehicles like the shuttle, Mcity also funds academic research and operates the Mcity Test Facility for connected and automated vehicles on U-M’s North Campus.
18. Will the shuttle be accessible to persons with disabilities?
Accessibility and the need for inclusiveness is of the utmost importance to the U-M community. The university has developed policies and procedures and created services to assist our community’s persons with disabilities. Among other services, U-M offers robust Paratransit services for students, faculty and staff of the university. As the Mcity Driverless Shuttle is an initial stage research project, the vehicles do not yet have accessibility features. However, Mcity is working with accessibility experts and anticipates including accessibility features similar to the university’s ADA-compliant buses as part of a future stage of Mcity’s driverless shuttle research.
19. Is the shuttle operating now?
The Mcity Driverless Shuttle began carrying passengers on June 4, 2018.
20. How can I provide feedback about my experience with the Mcity Driverless Shuttle?
We welcome feedback from anyone who rides the shuttle or interacts with the shuttle on campus Please click on this link to access the short online survey and tell us about your experience.
21. Who is conducting the survey?
JD Power, a global market research company and Affiliate member of Mcity, is conducting the survey.
22. Who will receive the survey results?
Survey results will be anonymized and provided to Mcity industry members and researchers. The data gathered will help researchers learn how consumers react and interact with driverless technology, as well as how to design safer vehicles and how to operate them more efficiently.
23. Can I provide feedback more than once?
You are encouraged to provide additional feedback if your experience has changed substantially since you last took our short survey. For instance, taking your first ride or interacting with the shuttle more regularly would be valid reasons to submit new feedback.