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MnDOT launches self-driving shuttle pilot project in Grand Rapids

WCCO Digital Update: Morning of Oct. 5, 2022
WCCO Digital Update: Morning of Oct. 5, 2022 01:24

GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. -- Minnesota transportation officials on Wednesday announced the launch of a self-driving shuttle project in Grand Rapids.

According to MnDOT, there are multiple self-driving vehicles now winding their way down roads in the northern Minnesota city - a new option for those needing transportation.

The demonstration project, one of three in the state, is named goMARTI. Riders can book rides through an app or by calling 211.

While the vehicles are considered self-driving, there will always be an operator on board. Their job is to make sure the vehicle is safely operating and aiding passengers as needed.

"MnDOT continues its commitment to collaborate with local communities and valued partners to find innovative ways to provide safe, accessible transportation options for all Minnesotans," said Commissioner Nancy Daubenberger from MnDOT. "The goMARTI demonstration project will provide great insight on how the technology stands up in rural Minnesota winter conditions."

MnDOT and its partners hope to accomplish several things during the 16-month project:

- Advance and inform the operation of automated vehicle technology in rural, winter conditions
- Engage and educate the local community by providing real-world automated vehicle experiences
- Provide safe, accessible mobility for residents, especially those with transportation challenges
- Understand what economic development this innovative pilot brings while attracting future talent and technology to the Iron Range

More information, including how to download the app, can be found on the goMARTI website

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