Minnesota Uses Autonomous Shuttles To Improve Mobility

A pilot program will provide free rides to help rural and elderly residents reach more destinations.

1 minute read

October 10, 2022, 7:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


goMARTI autinomous shuttle van

goMARTI / goMARTI Shuttle

An 18-month pilot program will bring five autonomous shuttles to Grand Rapids, Minnesota as part of the state’s Autonomous Rural Transit Initiative (goMARTI), reports Mary Balstad for LPTV.

“One major reason for bringing these shuttles northbound is to decrease isolation and increase mobility for those with disabilities,” Balstad explains. “Other considerations toward implementing these shuttles in the area include understanding the economic impact of self-driving shuttles in a rural community, engaging and educating the local population about autonomous vehicles, and advancing this technology through more difficult circumstances, such as through winter months.”

According to the article, “Passengers can access the shuttles by using the VIA app or through First Call 211. Three of the vehicles are also ADA compliant.” During the program, the shuttles will have operators present to ensure proper functioning and manually control the vehicles if needed.

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