5 Teams Plan Robo-Rides at Detroit Auto Show

Five developers of autonomous cars will offer free rides in their robotic vehicles during next year’s Detroit auto show in June.
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Five developers of autonomous cars will offer free rides in their robotic vehicles during next year’s Detroit auto show in June.

The teams were selected by the state of Michigan through a Mobility Challenge announced in May by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in conjunction with the show, which is moving from its traditional January date. Each provider will provides rides in downtown Detroit June 6-21, which begins with the auto show’s media and industry preview days and continues through all public days.

In addition to allowing riders to experience self-driving shuttles and robo-taxis, the providers will showcase features that connect vehicles with their surroundings, cater to riders with physical challenges and demonstrate advanced manufacturing methods.

  • AutoGuardian by Smart Cone will showcase its mobility system with two 12-passenger robotic shuttles developed by Aurrigo and operating on a six-stop circuit in central Detroit. The route will be equipped with “SmartTorch devices that alert pedestrians about approaching vehicles.
  • Continental will run three 15-passsenger automated shuttles over a fixed route that involves intelligent intersections, “smart” signage and the ability to run all three vehicles together as a robotic train. Other members of the Conti team are 3M, CNXMotion, EasyMile, Nexteer Automotive and Oakland University.
  • Local Motors has teamed with Robotic Research to deploy two of its eight-passenger Olli shuttles (pictured). Some 80% of each vehicle was made with 3D printing technology.
  • Navya has partnered with Wayne State University to deploy an autonomous 15-passenger shuttle featuring paratransit for riders with disabilities.
  • Yandex will operate a fleet of 10 four-passenger sedans along a downtown route with fixed stops. The Russian internet company is partnering with supplier Hyundai Mobis and Lawrence Technological University


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