DENVER — The City and County of Denver and the Regional Transportation District have launched their first on-road transit route that uses autonomous vehicles.
The pilot project, dubbed 61AV, uses driverless shuttle vehicles on a predetermined circuitous route from the 61st and Pena transit station to the Panasonic and EasyMile offices nearby, making a total of four stops every 15 minutes.
The system launched on Tuesday and will run free of charge every weekday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. for the next few months.
The vehicles, made by EasyMile, hold up to 12 people and run at speeds between 12 and 15 miles per hour. While there’s no driver on the shuttle, an “ambassador” will be on board to answer questions and keep an eye on passenger safety.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Colorado Autonomous Vehicle Task Force have given the 61AV project approval for six months as a way to test the feasibility of using driverless vehicles for public transportation.
EasyMile says its autonomous shuttles have been used in 22 countries, carrying more than 320,000 passengers for more than 200,000 miles without any collisions or injuries.
For more information on the shuttle and how it works, head over to rtd-denver.com/61AV.shtml .