May Mobility selected to deliver autonomous transit pilot to Rhode Island
After a competitive request-for-proposals process that started earlier this year, May Mobility has been selected by the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) to deliver a “limited and controlled automated vehicle service” to help fill a transportation gap between downtown Providence and Olneyville.
While the service is in operation, RIDOT will seek to get a better understanding of the potential of new technology to improve mobility options for residents in the state, by testing and researching a variety of factors relating to the service.
The service will be available and free to the public for a year.
“Now that we are well underway in executing the Governor's RhodeWorks program, we are able to focus on improving our transportation system - and that includes pilot programs like this to look at how to safely integrate new technology into our planning in a very careful, measured manner,” explains RIDOT Director Peter Alviti.
Through the partnership, May Mobility will begin a study and testing phase with its small autonomous vehicle shuttles.
Capable of carrying six people, including a fleet attendant who will have the ability to fully control the vehicle at any time, the shuttles are fully electric, which supports Rhode Island’s environmental and emissions reductions goals.
The first phase of the service will begin during the winter months on low-volume, low-speed roadways in the Quonset Business Park in North Kingstown. The public is expected to have access to the service starting next spring, in the Woonasquatucket River corridor in Providence.
Information regarding the hours of operation, number of available vehicles and stops along the route will be announced well before the service starts. Additionally, RIDOT and May Mobility will develop a public education campaign that includes signs along the route, as well as a website.
“We've made significant strides in rebuilding our transportation system through RhodeWorks, and as we deliver on that plan, we also are looking forward to integrating new technology into our transportation system,” says Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo.
“This is an exciting time as Rhode Island takes bold steps, positioning itself as a leader.”