In a joint study with North Carolina AT&T State University, researchers at Virginia Tech Transportation Institute have deployed a driverless shuttle on their own entrance road to see if similar systems might alleviate help first-and-last-mile challenges for elderly and disabled travelers.
Project team leaders said they think automated shuttles running on exact schedules might help those who depend on public transportation get from the end of transit routes to their final destinations–work, school, home, etc. Their campus study using such a shuttle will focus on “attitudes and usability issues, as well as acceptance of this technology and form of transportation.””
Local senior citizens and users of paratransit services will be recruited to use the shuttle and then participate in focus groups and answer surveys. The study is expected to take place for two years. Read more about it here.