Albemarle County, Perrone Robotics Inc., and JAUNT Inc. announced a Letter of Intent to enter into a partnership to develop, test, and operate an autonomous transit shuttle service pilot in Albemarle County, Virginia.
The partnership, totaling $600,000, will launch autonomous transit shuttle service in March 2019.
The location of the pilot autonomous transit shuttle service is still under review, but the service will allow riders to embark and disembark along a fixed route. While the shuttle will operate autonomously, a safety-trained transit “ambassador” will be on-board to address customer questions, offer any required assistance, and step-in as driver if needed.
"JAUNT will help explore new ways to adapt autonomous technology to enhance how it offers equity and accessible mobility through customer-oriented public transportation, the professional development of our staff and explore new service markets for transit," said Brad Sheffield, CEO of JAUNT.
As part of the partnership, Albemarle County, through its Economic Development Authority and its Economic Development office, will promote economic development and existing business expansion by supporting Perrone Robotics. Perrone Robotics will develop and adapt their technology to enable the NEV for autonomous shuttle service. JAUNT will provide scheduling and operating the shuttle during the pilot. This partnership is detailed in the Letter of Intent approved on November 14, 2018.
The University of Virginia plans to join the partnership with the pilot launch.