Grand Rapids in Early Stages of Developing Autonomous Vehicle Pilot Program
The city of Grand Rapids is looking to launch an 18-month autonomous vehicle pilot program which will provide another form of transportation to its residents. This would also make Grand Rapids the first rural city in the United States to develop a autonomous vehicle transportation program.
The city has applied for state funding of a little over $1.3 million to help fund the pilot project. With state funding, the city will bring in five self-driving vehicles, operated under May Mobility out of Michigan. The shuttle service will operate similar to Lyft or Uber options but on a fixed route. Services would encompass about a 12-mile radius, allowing residents from around the city to find the nearest pick-up location and transport them to a destination close to their desired location.
The vehicle can fit about six people and is suitable for everyone, including wheelchair users. Services would also be free during the 18-month program.
The city should know more about funds within two to three months, and if they do receive funds, they will start the program in 2022.