Autonomous shuttles expected in Rochester by this summer

The pandemic postponed the timeline for when futuristic transportation would begin zipping around Rochester. However, we’re now learning we could see autonomous shuttle services in just a few months

Posted: Apr 7, 2021 3:12 PM
Updated: Apr 7, 2021 5:19 PM

ROCHESTER, Minn. - The pandemic postponed the timeline for when futuristic transportation would begin zipping around Rochester. However, we’re now learning we could see autonomous shuttle services in just a few months.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation says shuttle pilots will be launched near the Mayo Clinic in Rochester.

Executive Director of MnDOT‘s Office of Connected and Automated Vehicles (CAV-X) Kristin White says the city is working to bring automated technology to full-sized transit buses in partnership with First Transit, MnDOT, and Destination Medical Center among others.

“These micro shuttles can help support some Rochester transit that's already successfully launched in the community,” said White.

“We're also trying to understand the winter weather challenges. We always talk about the winter here in Minnesota, and Rochester is no exception, so maybe these vehicles can help navigate in winter weather climates where other traditional transportation, like transit, may not be able to.”

While the operation was put on hold during the pandemic White does say it allowed for the testing of newer technologies and identifying infrastructure improvements needed to safely test on public roadways.

So, if all goes well, she says this summer we should see a soft launch on Rochester streets.

White added, “A soft launch where we test out some of the kinks, make sure we have no one in the vehicles or around them. We have all engineers and the safety experts around them and we're hoping to do that this summer, July/August. Then, potentially if that goes well, we'll be able to pilot the technologies with people in and around the DMC, the Mayo Clinic area this August.”

If the timeline is accurate for an August pilot launch there will be a person inside monitoring the vehicle’s progress so it won’t be 100% without an operator.

Work is also underway for the first CAV corridor planning effort with communities along Highway 52 from Rochester to St. Paul.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 540277

Reported Deaths: 7022
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1125861667
Ramsey46611846
Dakota41151414
Anoka37226413
Washington24233273
Stearns20532215
St. Louis16380295
Scott15455116
Wright14317124
Olmsted1256996
Sherburne1020879
Carver946043
Clay765189
Rice7408100
Blue Earth676840
Kandiyohi618879
Crow Wing591786
Chisago535648
Otter Tail531673
Benton518396
Mower446032
Winona434549
Douglas432170
Goodhue429871
Nobles396147
Morrison382859
McLeod381154
Beltrami365057
Isanti360159
Polk358966
Itasca356851
Steele346614
Becker344848
Lyon341848
Carlton322152
Freeborn319429
Pine305321
Nicollet298542
Brown289139
Mille Lacs269547
Le Sueur265022
Todd264830
Cass241426
Meeker227037
Waseca225820
Martin209029
Wabasha19793
Roseau194018
Dodge16794
Hubbard167641
Renville167443
Redwood163335
Houston161814
Cottonwood151420
Fillmore15039
Pennington148419
Chippewa143636
Faribault141619
Wadena139820
Sibley132110
Aitkin126736
Kanabec124921
Watonwan12429
Rock120918
Jackson113010
Yellow Medicine108218
Pipestone107225
Murray10149
Pope9906
Swift97118
Marshall83717
Stevens79010
Lake77819
Wilkin75412
Clearwater75314
Koochiching74312
Lac qui Parle73022
Big Stone5544
Lincoln5532
Grant5388
Norman5119
Mahnomen4898
Unassigned48578
Kittson44322
Red Lake3796
Traverse3585
Lake of the Woods2932
Cook1440

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 354875

Reported Deaths: 5797
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk55489598
Linn20153329
Scott18692234
Black Hawk15460306
Woodbury14773219
Johnson1384380
Dubuque13023202
Dallas1082196
Pottawattamie10612160
Story1024447
Warren548286
Clinton530789
Cerro Gordo518586
Webster506091
Sioux502673
Marshall476274
Muscatine454796
Des Moines439065
Wapello4245120
Buena Vista420940
Jasper406270
Plymouth393779
Lee366655
Marion353975
Jones292055
Henry285337
Bremer278260
Carroll277650
Crawford261539
Boone256131
Benton248955
Washington247849
Dickinson238643
Mahaska223049
Jackson216842
Kossuth211461
Clay208325
Tama206371
Delaware200939
Winneshiek192533
Page189020
Buchanan187331
Cedar182623
Fayette182641
Wright178635
Hardin178542
Hamilton176949
Harrison174673
Clayton165355
Butler161834
Mills157420
Cherokee156438
Floyd154342
Lyon153541
Poweshiek152133
Madison151919
Allamakee149051
Iowa144624
Hancock142634
Winnebago135331
Grundy134832
Cass133954
Calhoun133011
Jefferson130535
Emmet127140
Shelby126537
Louisa126049
Appanoose125847
Sac125819
Mitchell125241
Union123732
Chickasaw122015
Humboldt117926
Guthrie116728
Franklin112321
Palo Alto109622
Howard102622
Unassigned10030
Montgomery99737
Clarke98023
Keokuk94330
Monroe93128
Ida88533
Adair84032
Pocahontas83021
Monona80430
Davis79824
Greene76310
Lucas74822
Osceola73716
Worth6978
Taylor64812
Fremont60410
Decatur5889
Van Buren55318
Ringgold53322
Wayne51823
Audubon4939
Adams3264
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