MV Transportation, headquartered in Dallas, Texas, has deployed an autonomous vehicle (AV) shuttle for the National Renewable Energy Lab in Golden, Colorado. NREL is a national laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, operated by the Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC.
Easy Mile's EZ10
EasyMile's autonomous shuttle, the EZ10, is being introduced into circulator service during peak demand hours and will travel on a one-mile loop connecting multiple buildings and remote parking on the campus. The shuttle can carry up to 12 passengers and is designed to travel along a pre-programmed route, equipped with a sensor and intelligent vehicle system to detect obstacles and avoid collisions.
MV has partnered with NREL to provide transportation services to employees and visitors since 2010 and today provides operations and maintenance for campus circulator, on-demand, and last-mile commuter services. In addition to overseeing the operation and maintenance of the autonomous shuttle, MV is providing onboard stewards to provide passenger assistance.
During the first year of operation, NREL will collect and analyze vehicle and charging system operational data from the shuttle to help researchers better understand associated energy usage, charging and energy storage needs, and autonomous systems operation and control. This research effort will provide insight into a variety of areas important to the connected, intelligent, and automated vehicle space including grid integration, intelligent charge management, energy use, and human interactions with automated transportation systems.
“We are excited to partner with MV and EasyMile to introduce the autonomous shuttle on the NREL campus,” said Dr. Johney Green Jr., Associate Lab Director for Mechanical and Thermal Engineering Sciences at NREL. “The fully-electric vehicle provides a real-life research platform aligned to the core NREL mission of advanced energy technology development.”
The new AV shuttle began service on September 9, 2019, after a dedication ceremony attended by representatives from NREL, MV, and EasyMile, among others.