"This mobility-focused initiative will improve transportation options for veterans," Those are the words of Dr. Zach Asher, WMU assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering leading WMU's portion of a project whose goal is to deal with what is termed "transportation gaps for seniors, veterans and people with disabilities." The goal is a driver-less vehicle accessible to people with disabilities, and also producing zero emissions.

The technology announced in this project doesn't requite a driver, any peddles or a steering wheel. However, the plan is to have a safety operator in the vehicle at all times to take control, if needed, Asher says.

The vehicle has a four passenger capacity, or a wheelchair rider with two passengers. The goal, according to the release is to have In the future, a larger-scale 12 person vehicle.

"The autonomous electric shuttle will provide veterans with extended hours of service at the Battle Creek VA Medical Center campus and make it easier for them to order and schedule services. - WMU release

The goal is to have a demonstration of the new vehicle this fall, running services between buildings at the Battle Creek VA.

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