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If you think you’re seeing some unusual automobiles around the University of Michigan this week, it’s because you are! Adding to an ever-growing list of sustainable practices and commute options, Ann Arbor now has all-electric autonymous cars that have no driver, but rather a conductor on board.

Ann Arbor’s Driverless, Sustainable Commute

M-City, a developer of driverless technology, has partnered with U-M to release the driverless vehicles this week as part of a project that has been over 1 year in the making.

Developed by the French company, Navya, the driverless shuttles are actually guided by GPS and laser beams! Believe it or not, it’s an application previously implemented in other countries by the company before deployment on the U-M campus.

Mcity Driverless Shuttle Route

The route which will be launched in phases currently includes a 1 – mile loop around U.M.’s north campus with plans to extend to the Robert H. Lurie Engineering Center in the coming months.

Two of the free, 11-passenger shuttles will run every 5 – 10 minutes around the current loop at a top speed of 12 miles per hour before moving on to increased speeds on the route’s later expansions.

Tracking UM’s Autonomous Public Transit

As part of the research, cameras and microphones have been installed on board to record how passengers and pedestrians respond to the driverless vehicles on the road.

The shuttles run Monday through Friday, 9am-3pm at U-M’s North Campus Research Complex (NCRC) on Plymouth Road. Track the shuttles live, here!