Providence, US is piloting AVs
Rhode Island’s capital is using driverless shuttles as part of a bold, multi-decade plan to revive the city’s oldest industrial district, a corridor stretching Woonasquatucket River through the Olneyville, Valley, and Smith Hill neighborhoods.With at least $1.6 million secured for the first year of operation, a multi-agency effort will bring up to six AVs built by Ann Arbor-based May Mobility. Tests will begin in early 2019, with further plans to open to the public in May for a full year pilot.
“Little Roady”, as the pilot is called, is funded through the Transportation Innovation Partnership (TRIP), an initiative launched by the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT), convening public and private entities in an effort to use new technologies as part of the state’s future mobility solutions. The TRIP consortium includes Rhode Island’s Public Transit Authority, City of Providence, Quonset Development Corporation, and the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 618.
Notably, TRIP has committed to extensive study and evaluation of the project, issuing call for community survey proposals in January 2019. Independent research firms will be engaged to work together with local academic partners to collect feedback from a broad set of parties impacted by this new service.