Rhode Island DOT taps May Mobility for autonomous transit pilot

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The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) has awarded a contract to May Mobility to pilot an automated vehicle service.  Photo: May Mobility

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) has awarded a contract to May Mobility to pilot an automated vehicle service.  Photo: May Mobility

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) has awarded a contract to May Mobility to pilot an automated vehicle service. May Mobility was selected through a competitive request-for-proposals (RFP) process that started earlier this year.

Through this public-private partnership, the company will begin a study and testing phase with small autonomous vehicle shuttles. Each vehicle will hold six people including a fleet attendant who will have the ability to fully control the vehicle at any time, further ensuring safety. The shuttles are fully electric, supporting the state’s environmental and emissions reductions goals.

The shuttle service, which will be free to the public for a year, is expected to be available to the public in the Woonasquatucket River corridor in Providence in late spring 2019.

Under the terms of the public-private partnership, RIDOT will contribute $800,000 for the first year of operation. This includes $300,000 of 100 percent federally funded research funds through the Federal Highway Administration and a $500,000 grant awarded by the R.I. Attorney General’s Office as part of a settlement with Volkswagen.