Created by Stantec’s AV team GenerationAV, it will synthesise learnings from the US’ largest fleet of autonomous, electric shuttles, which has begun roll-out in Golden, Colorado.
The Colorado Smart Cities Alliance has launched Autonomous Vehicles Colorado (AvCo), an advanced technology living lab designed to improve public transportation, along with deployment of the largest fleet of autonomous electric shuttles in the US.
AvCo will form the basis of an education programme called CityForward, developed by global design firm Stantec, which will serve as a roadmap to accelerate the adoption of AV programmes in other cities across the world.
Stantec’s autonomous vehicle team, GenerationAV, launched the low-speed EV fleet in the city of Golden and plans include scaling the programme to two other Colorado cities in the near future.
CityForward will draw from the real-time data and deployment experience of AvCo to form the basis of a new set of best practices, including lessons learned, pitfalls to avoid, and key accomplishments, all rooted in the deployment process from GenerationAV deployment playbook.
The programme aims to provide the information and methodologies to help guide planning, assessment, deployment, and oversight of automated transit projects. The CityForward playbook will be delivered via an interactive online learning platform, and the extended CityForward offerings will include real-time data visualisations, customisable workshops, and hands-on educational learning options, according to Stantec.
“AvCo is a historic step forward for many important industries, including connected and autonomous vehicles, public transportation, and smart cities,” said Tyler Svitak, executive director of the Colorado Smart Cities Alliance, the nonprofit at the centre of AvCo. “What we learn here will help accelerate safer, cleaner, more accessible mobility for all.”
Service in the first of three locations has officially launched at Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado. For at least the next year, the autonomous shuttle buses will connect Mines students, faculty, staff and the general public with key destinations in the city and around campus that currently lack convenient mobility options.
The shuttles will safely navigate regular traffic using advanced sensors and technology, signaling a major step forward for the industry and the largest opportunity yet for the public to experience an autonomous public transit service.
The Colorado Smart Cities Alliance is leading a unique blend of partners under a public-private model, while AV technology developer EasyMile is leading the technical aspects of the AvCo deployment.
“AvCo is a historic step forward for many important industries. What we learn here will help accelerate safer, cleaner, more accessible mobility for all”
GenerationAV experts have been embedded in the group documenting and synthesising the process from the early stages of pre-deployment for the CityForward education programme.
“The CityForward programme has the potential to catapult AV adoption forward,” said Corey Clothier, founder and director of Stantec GenerationAV.
“Working with our partners, the entire deployment is set up as a living lab to develop best practices to be packaged and shared. This will be the most extensive learning experience from an AV deployment programme to date, which may even allow some to skip the pilot phase and move straight to long-term programme planning.”
Publication of the first two courses focusing on pre-deployment activity are planned for later this summer, while additional phases will be rolled out over the life of AvCo, which is projected to last through 2022.
Educational perspectives on both the overall programme and more detailed, specific use cases will be included in CityForward.