On February 5th, 2020, Paul Perrone reported the results of our public road trial to the Board of Supervisors of Albemarle County. While the trial completed last October, this formal report out entered the trial into the record and allowed the Board and parties present to discuss the potential next steps.
One interesting item that came up from a Board member was the notion of a shuttle that would cross a new pedestrian bridge being constructed in Charlottesville. This is a longer bridge, and the thought was that a smaller EV shuttle such as those we use from Polaris could provide a transport service over the bridge for elderly or less-abled pedestrians.
This type of shuttle is much less expensive than a typical street-based shuttle because the Operational Design Domain (ODD) is much more restricted which means fewer expensive sensors and a shorter build/test cycle. This doesn’t mean the shuttle is any less safe; rather, it’s that the shuttle has a very well-known area to operate in and therefore doesn’t need as complex a solution.
A comparable example would be your car vs. a golf cart. Your car needs to be safe at speeds up to 70 mph and beyond, needs to be operated under all conditions of heat and cold, needs to be comfortable for long rides, etc. A golf cart is much simpler. It doesn’t need to go as fast, nor as far and has only limited functions. It’s perfectly safe as is, but nowhere near as expensive or complicated as your car.
So, stay tuned for many more updates on our activities this year. There are many new business opportunities happening and we are dramatically broadening our reach as a company.