Minnesota DOT launches automated shuttle project in Rochester

This is the first automated pilot project to travel Minnesota streets

October 01, 2021 / 1 minute read
Minnesota DOT launches automated shuttle project in Rochester
Image: Minnesota DOT

Two low-speed, driverless, electric, multi-passenger shuttles called the Med City Mover are now available for free public rides in downtown Rochester, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

This is the first automated pilot project to travel Minnesota streets. MnDOT and its partners will gather data and user-experience information during the year-long project to help prepare for the safe and expanded use of this technology in transportation.

“Partnership projects like this are essential to better understand the benefits, challenges, and risks of automated technology,” MnDOT Commissioner Margaret Anderson Kelliher said in a statement. “Community engagement is also a priority—feedback from riders about their experiences on these vehicles will help us continue to improve our transportation system and create a future that prioritizes travel options, reliability, and sustainability.”  

The Med City Mover shuttle project is a partnership that involves MnDOT, the City of Rochester, Destination Medical Center, Mayo Clinic, First Transit, and EasyMile.

During the pilot project, MnDOT and its partners hope to engage and educate the public by providing real world automated vehicle experience; identify infrastructure gaps and solutions to safely operate automated vehicles on public roadways; advance the operation of automated vehicle technology in winter weather conditions; provide an enhanced transportation experience and increase mobility in a high-demand downtown urban environment.

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SOURCE: Minnesota DOT

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