Ohio Begins Autonomous Shuttle Tests

Three autonomous shuttle vans will begin operating in Columbus, Ohio, on Monday.

The vehicles will run daily from 6 a.m. until 10 p.m., with four stops along a 1.5-mile route. Service will be free to riders during a 10-month “Smart Circuit” pilot program, which is a collaborative effort between the Smart Columbus and DriveOhio initiatives.  

Ann Arbor, Mich.-based May Mobility developed the autonomous technology for the vans, which will have a maximum speed of 25 mph. The vans can accommodate four passengers, plus an on-board back-up driver.

The all-electric vans are equipped with an array of sensors, control software and mapping technologies to help guide it along the route and avoid obstacles as necessary. Passengers can view route and other information on a 49-inch digital display.

Engineers, researchers and policymakers from Smart Columbus, DriveOhio and Ohio State University plan use the demonstration to develop and refine future self-driving vehicle services in Ohio. This includes a planned route in Columbus funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation Smart City Challenge grant that the city was awarded in 2016.

More information about the Smart Circuit program is available HERE.