First Transit Easy Mile Minnesota

Autonomous driving being tested in wintry Minnesota

March 7, 2018
First Transit partners is MnDOT, EasyMile and 3M to gather data on the effects of winter weather on autonomous vehicles.

First Transit is supporting a shared autonomous vehicle (SAV) roadshow, in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT), EasyMile and 3M, to demonstrate the performance of the SAV in winter weather.

First Transit is supporting the SAV roadshow with onsite personnel, operations and maintenance with several stops across Minnesota:

  • The first stop was at Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis.
  • The second stop was on February 20, at 3M Global Headquarters.
  • The third stop is at the Minnesota Statehouse.
  • The fourth stop is scheduled in Rochester, Minn.
  • Final stop of the SAV roadshow is for public officials of Hennepin County, MN.

“We are glad to be the first company in North America to gather data about the effects of winter weather on the SAV,” said Justin Pate, senior vice president of marketing and business development at First Transit. “No matter the type of transportation vehicle, we want to ensure a safe experience for our passengers.”

The effect of the extreme cold weather has been in line with expectations, providing a safe and comfortable ride for passengers. Operating in light snow has proved no challenge for the SAV.

“EasyMile is excited to gather information on the performance of our EZ10 vehicle in inclement weather,” said Joseph Holmes, director of sales at EasyMile. “With temperatures reaching 35 below zero at the MnDOT test track, we were proud of the vehicle’s overall mechanical performance.”

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