Utahns from around the state experienced Utah's first completely autonomous shuttle!
The Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT), in partnership with the Utah Transit Authority (UTA), launched the Autonomous Shuttle Pilot in April of 2019. Over the duration of this pilot we asked for rider feedback and the survey results indicated that 95% of those surveyed believe that autonomous shuttles could complement public transit. We found that 98% of riders felt safe on board and 95% had a more positive attitude toward AVs after riding. A total of 6,612 riders rode the autonomous shuttle and it drove over 1,900 miles.
Autonomous vehicles can solve niche customer travel problems now and connect the first/last mile of a commute to a larger transit system. UTA plans to continue to test and plan for future applications of autonomous vehicles. As we look towards the future, we see automation increasing as part of the future of transportation. Not only in Utah, but around the world.To view the final report of the Autonomous Shuttle Pilot click here (Opens in a new window)
The autonomous shuttle visited multiple communities over the yearlong pilot.
Those locations include:
Autonomous Shuttle Pilot Highlights
Benefits of Automation
Automated vehicles' potential to save lives and reduce injuries is rooted in one critical and tragic fact: 94 percent of serious crashes are due to human error.
Economic and Societal Benefits
Automated vehicles could deliver additional economic and societal benefits. A 2018 survey show that motor vehicle crashes cost Utah consumers $268 million.
Efficiency and Convenience
With more connected and automated vehicles on the roads, the vehicles would communicate with each other as well as with the vehicle-to-infrastructure systems to help increase driver efficiency and reduce congestion.
Mobility and Access
Connected and autonomous vehicles can help improve access and increased mobility to meet the needs of Utah's communities. For those with a disability, the elderly, or no direct access to public transit, this could provide a more independent life.
Frequently Asked Questions
Autonomous shuttles are electric vehicles with capacity for six to 12 passengers. They do not have a driverï¿½s seat, a steering wheel, pedals, or the other features usually associated with traditional vehicles. The shuttle follows a pre-determined route, but reacts to other vehicles, pedestrians, etc. in real time as they are encountered. A "Shuttle Host" is usually on board to turn the vehicle on and off and monitor operations.
Connected vehicle technology will enable cars, trucks, buses, and other vehicles to "talk" to each other with in-vehicle or aftermarket devices that continuously share important safety and mobility information.
The Autonomous Shuttle will change locations every few weeks. All shuttle sites and routes are vetted and approved in advance by the Federal Government. Check the map to see when it's coming to a community near you.
Several factors were considered when selecting the shuttle sites. Things like proximity to transit, areas with lots of visitors, access to storage and charging facilities, and the ability to interact with riders and get feedback.
No. The shuttle will have a person on board to serve as a host to answer questions and monitor operations.
If this technology is deployed in the years to come, it is meant to increase ridership, create new jobs, and provide access to transit in communities that have none. This may be a first/last mile solution for those communities. This type of vehicle would supplement the service UTA currently has, not replace it. It would connect neighborhoods to bus stops, TRAX stations, and FrontRunner stations. This project will help UTA/UDOT to determine if this technology will work in Utah communities. Please take the survey or leave a comment on this website. All feedback will be recorded and included in the final project report at the end of the pilot in 2020.
Yes. The shuttle follows a pre-determined route, but reacts in real-time to other vehicles, pedestrians, etc. This is a Level 4 High driving automated vehicle, meaning the vehicle is capable of performing all driving tasks within specific conditions (such as only in daytime, or within a specific neighborhood), with no expectation that a driver will be asked to intervene when the vehicle is operating in those conditions. The shuttle operates at up to 15 miles per hour.
The Utah Transit Authority is exploring ways to enhance its transit services and customer experience using connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs). Autonomous shuttles may, in the future, complement Utahï¿½s transit system as First/Last Mile connections and low-speed community circulators. UTA is also interested in building awareness among riders and the public about highly automated vehicles.
UDOTï¿½s Advanced Traffic Management System (ATMS) is robust and ready to adapt Vehicle to Infrastructure (V2I) communication to enhance transportation safety and efficiency. This shuttle deployment allows for that interface to be explored and enhanced, including understanding how these vehicles will interface with traffic signals, increasing our readiness for autonomous technologies that will follow.
It is free to ride.
Yes. For those who may have mobility challenges, an automated ramp is available to assist in boarding. The shuttle can be configured with automatic internal and external stop announcements as well.
Yes. The shuttle will only drive in pre-designated locations on approved sites. It may operate on public roads and in low-speed traffic.