Golden Mines Rover: electric, autonomous shuttle

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Photo courtesy of AvCo

The Mines Rover was unveiled on August 11, 2021, at the Colorado School of Mines.

This exciting new mode of transport, based in Golden, Colorado, is fully electric, autonomous, and free to the public. The Drive Electric Colorado Team was able to attend the public reveal of the Rover alongside its developers, partners, and students. We also took one of the first rides ever in the driverless shuttle.

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The Mines Rover project is a partnership led by Colorado Smart Cities Alliance, Easy Mile, and the Colorado School of Mines with partners RTD, the City of Golden, Stantec, Siemens, and Panasonic.

There are nine Rovers in this fleet, making it the nation’s largest fleet of low-speed, autonomous electric shuttles.

The City of Golden is also the first city in Colorado to offer this type of microtransit.

“Autonomous vehicles are coming. It’s not a matter of if – it’s when,” Sharad Agarwal,EasyMile senior vice president, said.

The Rover connects Colorado School of Mines’ campus, athletics complex and downtown Golden along three fixed routes with 18 stops. It’s ADA accessible and can hold six seated passengers. The Rover uses advanced sensors to adjust its speed (maximum 12 mph) based on its surroundings, with the option for manual takeover if necessary.

Golden’s Mines Rover paves the way for more zero-emission transit throughout the state. AvCo plans to deploy other shuttles in Greenwood Village and Colorado Springs next.

The Rover reduces transit-associated carbon emissions and improves safety and congestion.

“It’s cool, and it’s the future,” Paul C. Johnson,Colorado School of Mine President.

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