Our AV Work In Action

Med City Mover (MnDOT)

As a part of Minnesota Department of Transportation's (MnDOT) Connected and Automated Vehicle Challenge, First Transit was in operation of the Med City Mover, an automated shuttle project within the City of Rochester. First Transit provided the operations, maintenance, and project management for the autonomous vehicles. Passenger service began in October 2021 and concluded August 2022. During that one-year project, the Med City Mover operated on public streets and connected the Destination Medical Center with the Mayo Clinic's main campus. Additionally, the service provided connectivity to nearby parking and points of interest in Downtown. 
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US Ignite Fort Carson On-Base Shuttle Pilot

In partnership with US Ignite, the US Army Engineer Research and Development Center, and Perrone Robotics, First Transit operated and managed an automated vehicle shuttle project at Fort Carson, near Colorado Springs. The first of its kind, this project used a traditional vehicle that was fully automated by Perrone Robotics’ autonomous software platform and automation kit. Project goals were to research the safety, cost savings, and efficiency of using AVs in various deployment scenarios at a military installation, while paving the way for future AV projects.
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Arlington Entertainment District

Milo was the nation's first SAV service open to the public. From 2017 - 2018, First Transit operated two vehicles for this pilot project transporting passengers in the Arlington Entertainment District during major sporting events. The City of Arlington summarized the project's success in a report: "Milo ridership surveys illustrate the excitement and acceptance of driverless technology in Arlington. 99% of riders surveyed enjoyed riding Milo and felt safe riding Milo. 97% of riders surveyed support AV technology more broadly.” Riders provided positive comments regarding the service’s quality, innovation, and 'fun' rider experience.

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Bishop Ranch

As part of the partnership with GoMentum Station, First Transit operated the first SAV project in the U.S. First Transit tested SAVs at Bishop Ranch, the largest mixed-use business community in Northern California. The project represented a public and private partnership with the Contra Costa Transportation Authority, GoMentum Station, Sunset Development Company, and First Transit.
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First Transit partnered with GoMentum Station in Concord, CA, to foster research and innovation in the SAV field. GoMentum Station is the largest of 10 U.S. federally funded secure testing facilities for autonomous and connected vehicles technology. Leveraging this strategic partnership, First Transit and GoMentum Station partnered with the Contra Costa Transit Authority to begin SAV testing on public roads at the Bishop Ranch office park in San Ramon, CA. 
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Livermore Amador Valley Transit (LAVTA)

LAVTA, the first public transit authority in California to operate an SAV, partnered with First Transit to implement a SAV demonstration project in 2018. The project tested the feasibility of SAVs as a first mile/last mile solution for commuters traveling between local light rail and their homes/offices. First Transit operated two vehicles for this project.

Metro Houston and Texas Southern University

In June 2019, First Transit began operating Phase 1 of METRO's University District Circulator pilot program. This slow-speed shuttle service operated weekdays on the Texas Southern University (TSU) Tiger Walk, a one-mile campus pedestrian walking loop. The Circulator connected students and faculty to key points on campus on a pre-programmed route. Due to COVID-related challenges, the project was halted. First Transit continues to explore opportunities with METRO to recontinue the project via a Phase 2 or other automated vehicle demonstration.
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Minnesota AV Road Show

From December 2017 - May 2018, First Transit operated a vehicle as part of the Minnesota Department of Transportation's (MnDOT) SAV Roadshow. Designed to demonstrate the SAV's ability to perform in extreme winter environments, the roadshow visited multiple stops across the state, including the 3M World Headquarters and the State Capitol in Saint Paul. The vehicle performed to all expectations of safety and passenger comfort in snowfall and temperatures reaching -35F.
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Jacksonville Transit Authority

First Transit operated one SAV for a pilot program with JTA. The pilot's purpose was to assess the feasibility of integrating SAVs into existing and planned routes along the Downtown Jacksonville waterfront and to provide connects to locations near the City's Sports Complex. Initially, First Transit tested the AV during special events and on the JTA's Test and Learn Track, which was established to test and promote the capabilities of AV technology.

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SAIC at UC Davis

First Transit completed an automated shuttle project within the University of California, Davis campus in Davis, CA. First Transit operated two six-passenger shuttles on two routes. Route 1 served the West Village Campus and connected campus locations with transit bus stops. Route 2 provided a first mile/last mile connection between a nearby Amtrak station and Mrak Hall. The project concluded in 2019. 
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