The EasyMile electric autonomous shuttle made its debut on Denver roadways in late January—marking a first for the city and the state of Colorado.
The self-driving shuttle will continue to operate for the next four to six months, connecting passengers from the 61st and Peña commuter rail station to the Panasonic and EasyMile offices and to the 61st and Peña Park-n-Ride lot via four stops, according to a news release.
Transdev will operate the shuttle for the Regional Transportation District (RTD) in a new route known as 61AV. The goal of the project is to “assess the viability of autonomous services in providing first and last mile connections to and from transit.”
The shuttle will run a predetermined route from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, making a complete loop every 15 minutes. An ambassador will be on board to ensure safety and answer passenger questions.
The EasyMile shuttle runs an average speed of 12-15 miles per hour and can carry up to 12 passengers. The project is approved by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Colorado Autonomous Vehicle Task Force for six months of operations. Data collected will be shared between project partners to further advance the technology, leading to wider use.
“RTD is pleased to participate in this groundbreaking partnership to explore how innovations in mobility are creating new and expanded opportunities for public transportation,” RTD CEO and General Manager Dave Genova said, according to the release. “The 61AV partnership allows us to interface directly with an autonomous vehicle demonstration and assess how this technology can be applied in a transit setting to meet the future mobility needs of the people and communities we serve.”