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Autonomous Community Shuttle

Driverless shuttle to fill first/last mile gaps between bus routes and key neighborhood destinations for low-mobility users.

Photo of Mitch Turck
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Written by


Disabled, elderly and children struggle with first/last mile access beyond bus routes.


An autonomous shuttle given partial right-of-way to reach key neighborhood locations (urgent care, schools, daycare, grocery store) could pair with the local Port Authority bus line to increase mobility, while reassigning the driver role to an aid/steward role furthers the value of the mode.

- Shuttle operates using Port Authority coordination and ConnectCard
- Local residents identify optimal route/stops
- 24/7 operation
- Residents can book using app or kiosk

Describe who will use your solution (1,000 characters)

Non-car driving residents for whom walking/biking from the bus through the first/last mile is difficult or dangerous, e.g. elderly, disabled, children, etc. Pilot program is aimed at Penn Hills residents as a starting point.

Describe your solution's stage of development

  • Prototype - you have built a prototype and tested it with potential users

Tell us about your team or organization (500 characters)

This prototype was developed by the Greenfield team from Pittsburgh's Mobiliti co-design workshop. The team includes Shelly, Carmay, Vicki, Bonnie, Harsha, Bill, and Gary -- a cross-functional group of transit technologists, local residents, employers and civil leaders who worked through a human-centered design process over the course of two days to create this prototype. These teammates are accessible by email and can provide further detail on the concept.

Size of your team or organization

  • 2-10

Funding Request

  • $100,000

Describe how you would pilot your idea (1000 characters)

- Aiming to trial in Penn Hills, estimating 10% of 40k population @2 rides per day = 3MM rides/yr - Assess cost/benefit of staffing an aid on-board - Non-revenue funding comes from urban planning agencies, university research grants, local businesses paying to have vehicle stop at their location

Describe how you would measure the success of your pilot (1000 characters)

Increase in bus usage, usage of AV shuttle, decrease in Uber/Lyft usage, resident satisfaction survey


Join the conversation:

Photo of Diana Avart

Hi Mitch,

Thanks so much for submitting your idea. Don't forget you have until 4pm EST to make any last minute changes or provide additional information for your submission!

- Diana, Facilitator

Photo of Diana Avart

I would also suggest having Shelly, Carmay, Vicki, Bonnie, Harsha, Bill, and Gary create accounts today so they can be added to the project team and make any necessary updates.