The University of Michigan is at it again with their research facility, Mcity, revealing the campus’ first driverless shuttles this week. This amazing shuttle will travel on a nonstop two-mile route (3.2 km) between the university’s Lurie Engineering Center and the North Campus Research Complex.
The University has introduced two of the self-driving shuttles, which will cover the route every 10 minutes and operate during business hours, although the service will be expanded if the first trials turn out well.
The autonomous, all-electric French-made shuttle is called the Nayva Arma, and is capable of carrying up to 15 passengers at a top speed of 45 km/h (28 mph). The shuttle is made for transportation services like theme parks, universities and industrial area, and employs sensors like LIDAR, GPS, onboard cameras and Wi-Fi to create a smart picture of its surroundings. Besides being introduced at the University of Michigan, the vehicle is also under trails in several places around the world, the most recent one being at a 220-hectare power plant in Western France.
The University of Michigan is deploying two of the self-driving shuttles to gauge the riders and other driver’s response to the autonomous researchers. The research team will take note of usage patterns along with conducting user surveys to help design safer and more convenient autonomous vehicles.
Huei Peng, the Roger L. McCarthy Professor of Mechanical Engineering and director of Mcity at the University of Michigan said,
“This first-ever automated shuttle service on campus is a critical research project that will help us understand the challenges and opportunities presented by this type of mobility service and how people interact with it. The shuttles will augment U-M’s busy campus bus service to provide another mobility option.”
You can see the Nayva Arma shuttle in action, in the video below.