MV Transportation announces autonomous vehicle deployment for the national renewable energy laboratory

Sept. 10, 2019
MV will operate the circulator shuttle with EasyMile AV on the Golden, Colorado campus.

MV Transportation Inc. (MV) has deployed an autonomous vehicle (AV) shuttle for the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) in Golden, Colo.

EasyMile's autonomous shuttle, the EZ10, is being introduced into circulator service during peak demand hours and will travel on a one-mile loop connecting multiple buildings and remote parking on the campus. The shuttle can carry up to 12 passengers and is designed to travel along a pre-programmed route, equipped with a sensor and intelligent vehicle system to detect obstacles and avoid collisions.

MV has partnered with NREL to provide transportation services to employees and visitors since 2010 and today provides operations and maintenance for campus circulator, on-demand and last-mile commuter services. In addition to overseeing the operation and maintenance of the autonomous shuttle, MV is providing onboard stewards to provide passenger assistance.

“We look forward to extending our decade-long relationship with NREL and continuing to deliver innovative, safe and reliable service that enhances the passenger experience,” said Mark Collins, MV president.

During the first year of operation, NREL will collect and analyze vehicle and charging system operational data from the shuttle to help researchers better understand associated energy usage, charging and energy storage needs and autonomous systems operation and control. This research effort will provide insight into a variety of areas important to the connected, intelligent and automated vehicle space including grid integration, intelligent charge management, energy use and human interactions with automated transportation systems.

“We are excited to partner with MV and EasyMile to introduce the autonomous shuttle on the NREL campus,” said Johney Green Jr. Ph.D., associate lab director for Mechanical and Thermal Engineering Sciences at NREL. “The fully-electric vehicle provides a real-life research platform aligned to the core NREL mission of advanced energy technology development.”

“EasyMile is proud to partner with NREL and MV to deploy the first autonomous shuttle on a federal campus," said Sharad Agarwal, senior vice president of EasyMile North America. "We believe these campuses are ideal use cases for the autonomous shuttle and we are excited to work with NREL's research team to advance the autonomous and battery technologies."

The new AV shuttle began service Sept. 9 after a dedication ceremony attended by representatives from NREL, MV and EasyMile, among others.