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Friday
Apr272018

Autonomous Shuttle Demonstration This Weekend on Midtown Greenway

Via an April 27 e-newsletter from Hennepin County:

Autonomous shuttle demonstration this weekend on Midtown Greenway

Hennepin County is partnering with the Minnesota Department of Transportation and other agencies and community organizations to demonstrate use of the EasyMile EZ10 electric autonomous shuttle on a two-block section of the Midtown Greenway in Minneapolis this weekend, April 27-29.

Autonomous vehicles are no longer a thing of the future, and Hennepin County is interested in learning more about how the technology could work as one piece of a broader transportation system. The county has no current plans to implement an autonomous shuttle or other forms of autonomous transportation.

A chance to learn

“We’re looking ahead to the future of transportation in Hennepin County,” said Commissioner Peter McLaughlin, District 4. “Autonomous shuttles like this one could help more people get to more places without relying on a personal vehicle. We’re thinking about how this technology could help connect more people to major transitways, and how it might complement other types of transportation like walking, biking and driving. It could also improve mobility for people with disabilities and others without access to a car.” 

“As our region continues to grow, making sure there are options for people to get where they need to go safely and efficiently is critical,” said Commissioner Marion Greene, District 3. “People want transportation choices. If we’re smart about how we develop and implement autonomous vehicle technology, it could be a valuable tool in building and maintaining smart, sustainable and healthy communities for the future.” 

Hennepin County is inviting the public to learn about this new technology with us. Residents are encouraged to come out to the greenway this weekend, experience the shuttle in-person, and share feedback via an online survey that will be available at www.hennepin.us/av-demo

A safe and efficient ride

The EZ10 shuttle has been used in 20 countries and has a perfect safety record. It has transported more than 230,000 people and logged more than 75,000 miles without incident, including in mixed pedestrian and bicycle environments.

For this demonstration, Hennepin County is taking extra safety precautions. The shuttle will travel no more than 12 miles per hour, and a human operator from First Transit will be on board the shuttle to take over, if needed.

Event Details:

Friday, April 27 — 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

  • Closed set up and demonstrations for partners

Saturday and Sunday, April 28 and 29 — 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

  • Free rides and demonstrations for the public

Where

  • Two-block stretch of the Midtown Greenway between Hennepin and Fremont avenues

More Info:  hennepin.us/av-demo

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