Thank you very much for these suggestions Perry! The vehicles can be stored in driver/custodian garages. They have the chargers integrated into the vehicles so they can be plugged into standard outlet in the custodian's home. One specific vehicle need not be operational 24 hours a day, at times when they aren't needed they can be charging. Exchangable batteries certainly is one approach, yet another could be additional vehicles (likely from other neighborhood custodians). When operating in a microdistrict (~2 mile radius) it should not take 10 minutes to wait for the next ride.
In terms of the topology of the microtransit routing I think that there are benefits of both fixed and on-demand. I envision a hybrid model where rides are initially custom/on-demand, but transition to quasi-fixed as routine stops are established, within 1-5 mile radius micro-districts (size depends on passenger demand levels) . After that the route is essentially fixed, but can accommodate additional stops and skip stops when appropriate. I see all this happening with human professional drivers initially, but with fixed routes it can be automated as the technology (both on the vehicle and infrastructure) is established, as well as the legal framework (State licensing rules for robotic drivers and a liability paradigm which fault lies on the manufacturers and roadway designers, instead of the users/riders). In fact the rules of the road (licensing law) as well as the system programming can be established and created by this process using professional drivers and retrofit ready vehicles.
Thanks for your comment Chris! I believe in using all available methods and modes, starting with mixed land use/zoning policy so that places people need to go, such as grocery stores and recreation centers are walkable for neighborhood residents. I think micromobility solutions like shared scooters and bikes have a place. In addition I also believe short distance, low speed electric shuttles can be a great compliment to bus rapid transit service and much more comfortable than bikes, scooters or walking during inclement weather, with small children or carrying groceries or other items. Ideally the least amount of motorized vehicles in neighborhoods is the best in my opinion. Low speed shared shuttles have great potential in that regard.