INDIANAPOLIS (Inside INdiana Business) — A free, autonomous shuttle service has launched in downtown Indianapolis and on the campus of IUPUI. Officials say the first phase of the pilot program will run through mid-November, when a second phase will begin in Fishers.
The service is the result of a partnership involving the Toyota Mobility Foundation (TMF), Energy Systems Network in Indianapolis, the Indiana Economic Development Corp. and Michigan-based May Mobility. It is part of TMF’s Together in Motion Indiana initiative.
The service features five Lexus RX 450h vehicles and one wheelchair-accessible Polaris GEM shuttle, all of which are equipped with autonomous technology from May Mobility. It includes nine stops in Indianapolis, which have signs providing route information and a scannable QR code that leads to the Together in Motion Indiana website, where more info about the shuttle routes can be found.
TMF says the service will run Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. with shuttles arriving in 10-15-minute intervals. The route provides a connection from Vermont Station along IndyGo’s Red Line to areas west of downtown, and circles the IU Health University Hospital and Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health campuses.
“Indiana is the ideal location to launch the first Together in Motion initiative because of the strong local partnerships with Energy Systems Network and the local communities,” said Ryan Klem, director of programs for the Toyota Mobility Foundation. “They have facilitated May Mobility’s integration into the local transportation offerings, and we look forward to learning about local use and impact so that we can transfer and scale this knowledge to other locations.”
Currently, masks are required for all passengers and fleet attendants and all shuttles are equipped with partitions and UVC disinfectant lights that will clean the shuttle interior between rides.
TMF says the second phase of the service in Fishers will begin in November.
We’ll have more on the shuttle service program in our next INPower e-newsletter. You can subscribe to the newsletter by clicking here.