FAR Flies North  to Autonomous Shuttles Event in Ann Arbor

It’s cold outside, but February’s been hot for FAR!

This post shares a couple highlights since returning from a 4-way collaboration autonomous vehicle event in Ann Arbor Michigan, led by FAR’s strategic partner !Important  and DOT Inclusive Design Challenge competitor May Mobility.

When Hannah Osborn, CEO of !Important, picked me up from my hotel in her !Important demo van, I was elated to say the least. Reason being, FAR and !Important are working hard behind the scenes to continue technical integration ahead of all FAR users being protected by !Important’s digital seat belt and FAR’s patent pending ultra-wide band system on !Important’s demo van. We’re certainly stronger and safer together.

The A2Go event was hosted in the garage in Ann Arbor where May Mobility parks their autonomous vehicles overnight. It was fascinating to see May Mobility’s working product in association with their proposal for DOT’s Inclusive Design Challenge.

May Mobility has 4 Lexus RX450h  and 1 modified Polaris Gem that is wheelchair accessible operating in the Ann Arbor area. One person can ride in the wheelchair accessible Polaris Gem but the ramp into the vehicle requires a person to manually open and close it after the rider boards the vehicle. This is executed by staffed personnel funded by a grant secured by May Mobility.

The event was outstanding, and so were the speakers, but the conversations before, after, and during with friends and colleagues holds some of the most meaning and value for FAR. Like long-time friend John Shutko at Ford, Victoria Waters at Mcity, and Dan Bartz at Volkswagen.

Being a car person, one moment that made my hair stand was checking out Dan’s Audi A4 e-tron with level 3 autonomy, with LiDAR to prove it!  Dan mentioned it only had 500 horsepower and was the slower version… Tease!

While not the exact same version, you can check out Audi’s A4 e-tron here. Thanks so much Dan for showing us your Audi A4 e-tron! My heart was pumping.

So much appreciation for !Important, May Mobility, Mcity, and Prentice 4M for attracting such an awesome crowd of professionals in the AV space. Can’t wait until the next one.