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Rhode Island awards contract to run self-driving shuttles

PROVIDENCE (AP) — The Rhode Island Department of Transportation has awarded a contract to begin a self-driving shuttle service in Providence.

The agency said Monday that May Mobility in Ann Arbor, Mich., will operate the state's first autonomous transit pilot service, to launch this spring.

The state will pay $800,000 for the first year.

The shuttles will run between downtown Providence and Olneyville via the Woonasquatucket (woo-NAH'-squaw-tuck-ett) River corridor. There's currently no public transit along the full route.

The company will test the electric shuttles in the Quonset Business Park this winter.

Each vehicle holds six people, including an attendant who'll have the ability to fully control the shuttle at any time to ensure safety.

The service will be free for a year.

The contract includes options to extend the service for two more years.



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