Autonomous shuttle project at VA Medical Center awarded $2.1 million Michigan Mobility grant
Pointing to the critical role transportation plays in improving access to services and public life in communities across the state, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced yesterday at the North American International Auto Show that a project team called New Autonomous Mobility Vision for Michigan was awarded a $2.1 million Michigan Mobility grant for an autonomous electric shuttle at the Battle Creek Veterans Administration (VA) Medical Center.
This is the final round of pilot projects under the Michigan Mobility Challenge, a grant initiative seeded with an $8 million legislative appropriation in 2018 to use technology and innovation to address core mobility gaps for seniors, persons with disabilities, and veterans across the state.
The project team consisting of Pratt and Miller Engineering (project lead), Western Michigan University, the University of Michigan, Kevadiya Inc., Robotic Research, Comet Mobility, and Easterseals will use the grant to allow for extended hours of service to veterans on the hospital campus, as well as an easier method for ordering and scheduling services.
The $8 Million Michigan Mobility Challenge was designed to fund the demonstration of projects using new technology and innovative service models to address mobility gaps for seniors, persons with disabilities and veterans in Michigan. Awarded grants will be used to subsidize a portion of the cost to plan, deliver and monitor the demonstration services for a three- to six-month period, with the remaining costs being covered from fares, local contributions and other funds. Projects will be coordinated with current services to enhance the existing transportation network in an area.
Tuesday’s announcement brings the total number of projects funded to 13 in urban, rural and suburban communities of varying sizes throughout Michigan.
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