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Pilot

Grand Rapids Autonomous Vehicle Initiative (AVGR)

Grand Rapids Autonomous Vehicle Initiative (AVGR)
Location
Grand Rapids, United States
Date
From to
Length
5.14km
Project details

What

The Grand Rapids Autonomous Vehicle Initiative (AVGR) brought 4 electric shuttle to downtown streets for a year-long pilot. The shuttles are self-driving, however they always had an attendant when they were on the streets.

The May Mobility shuttles follows the existing DASH West Route, this route connects both sides of the river.

Why

The basic purpose here is to mix Autonomous vehicles with other traffic in urban environment and check it they could provide better mobility to local community.

Results & evaluation

  • Year-long pilot beginning July 2019, with potential for additional year extension
  • 4 self-driving vehicles on route
  • 20 passenger stops on DASH West route
  • Vehicles negotiate 30 traffic lights on route
  • Vehicles make 12 turns, with 3 left turns
  • DASH West route provides connectivity to 10 parking facilities
  • Wheelchair accessible vehicle service launched in January 2020

Challenges

Challenges arise during heavy precipitation and traffic, and around vehicles that make quick lane changes or difficult turning movements like unprotected left turns and right turns at red lights.

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Lexicon

7 words explained

platooning

Also known as flocking. A collection of (automated) vehicles that travel together, actively coordinated in formation. Platoons decrease the distances between vehicles using electronic, and possibly mechanical, coupling. Platooning allows many vehicles to accelerate or brake simultaneously.

urban setting

High density environment with an efficient high capacity public transport system with good capillarity and high frequencies.

suburban setting

Medium density environment with a good public transport system with radial connections to the city center, but lower capillarity and frequencies. This setting includes suburban cities.

small cities

Small, isolated city with an own public transport system and <100K inhabitants.

rural

Low-density environment, small cities and villages with poor public transport services mainly connecting the villages.

SAE level

The SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) levels define the level of vehicle autonomy, or in other words, how much human intervention is still needed for an automated vehicle to operate. Currently, five SAE levels have been defined: Level 0: Automated system issues warnings and may momentarily intervene but has no sustained vehicle control. Level 1 (hands on): Driver and automatic system share vehicle control. The driver must be ready to retake full control at any time. Level 2 (hands off): The automated system takes full control of the vehicle (accelerating, braking, and steering). The driver must monitor the driving and be prepared to intervene immediately at any time if the automated system fails to respond properly. Level 3 (eyes off): The automated system takes full control of the vehicle (accelerating, braking, and steering). The driver must monitor the driving and be prepared to intervene immediately at any time if the automated system fails to respond properly. Level 4 (mind off): As level 3, but no driver attention is ever required for safety, e.g. the driver may safely go to sleep or leave the driver's seat. Level 5 (steering wheel optional): No human intervention is required at all. An example would be a robotic taxi.

V2X

Vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communication is the passing of information from a vehicle to any entity that may affect the vehicle, and vice versa.