Albemarle County announces the launch of AVNU

AVNUAlbemarle County, Perrone Robotics, JAUNT and Smart Mobility today celebrated the first day of service for AVNU, the first autonomous shuttle operating in Virginia on public roads.

AVNU (pronounced, “Avenue”, an acronym for Autonomous Vehicle, Neighborhood Use), is based on Perrone Robotics’ TONY autonomous shuttle platform. The pilot will operate for three months, with routes shifting to different areas of Crozet. The first route will be within the Old Trail Village neighborhood and the second route will run between Old Trail Village and Downtown Crozet.

“It is with great pleasure that we launch the pilot of the next generation of transportation – autonomous neighborhood shuttles – here in Crozet,” said Ann Mallek, White Hall District Supervisor. “Albemarle County is so proud to support our homegrown company, Perrone Robotics, to bring this project to fruition and to support our development areas by providing small-scale transit service to connect residents with commercial and recreation centers.”

This electric-powered shuttle is designed to operate autonomously on public roads, navigating vehicle and pedestrian traffic. “With over 33,000 autonomous miles traveled using our technology, TONY powered vehicles bring the highest level of autonomy available in the world today to shuttles,” said Paul Perrone, founder/CEO of Perrone Robotics. “We are deploying an AV platform that has been carefully refined since 2003, applied in automotive and industrial autonomy spaces, and now being leveraged to bring last-mile services to communities such as those here in Albemarle County, Virginia. What we deliver is a platform that operates shuttles autonomously in complex environments with roundabouts, merges, and pedestrian-dense areas.”

During the pilot, the shuttle will operate with an onboard safety operator that is actively monitoring the roadway and able to assume control of the shuttle if needed.



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