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Autonomous vehicle shuttle returns to downtown Grand Rapids

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Posted at 9:55 AM, Aug 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-24 09:55:52-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A pilot program that introduced an autonomous vehicle shuttle to downtown Grand Rapids was suspended in March 2020 due to COVID-19. That shuttle service returns to operation today.

A partnership of the City of Grand Rapids and May Mobility, the AVGR, or Grand Rapids Autonomous Vehicle Initiative, features eight vehicles that can seat four people plus an attendant who monitors the vehicle. During the restart, only one passenger will be allowed or a group where each person is a member of the household or party.

New sanitizing methods are being used, including a treatment system from GHSP, based in Holland, Mich., which uses five-minute doses of UV light between passengers or groups of passengers. Another system uses a disinfecting fog system on the vehicles once a day.

The vehicles follow the 3.2-mile DASH West route through downtown Grand Rapids, and rides are free.