First-Last Mile Solutions

First-Last Mile Solutions

The Problem.

What is public transit’s first-mile/last-mile (FM/LM) problem? It begins with a ¼ mile. Most people in the United States are “comfortable” walking less than a ¼ mile to or from public transit stops. The problem arises when a potential rider is further than a “comfortable distance” to the necessary fixed-route stop. The FM/LM is a barrier to increasing the use of public transportation.


The Solution.

Many cities around the world are starting to use small electric shuttles to complement (and in some cities replace) traditional mass transit systems. First and last mile mobility are one of the most important and challenging factors in efficiently moving people and goods. The challenges include dealing with pedestrians, unstructured environments, and the shear geographical expanse of the problem.  Robotic Research has demonstrated that the autonomous mobility kit (AutoDrive) can safely and effectively perform these tasks in this complex first-mile-last-mile environment. Whether it is getting people to and from bus or rail stops or getting goods from a warehouse to the consumer, Robotic Research is at the forefront of the technology making it possible. Our key projects include:

Skills Used.

Autonomous Technology: 100%
Drive-By-Wire: 80%
GPS-Denied Localization: 85%
Deployment Assistance: 70%



Olli is the world’s first co-created autonomous electric shuttle; it can carry up to eight passengers at a time in a climate-controlled cabin. The vehicle is integrated with Robotic Research’s AutoDrive. Robotic Research makes the autonomy software and hardware that provides the automation required for operating in common and complex transportation environments.  Olli vehicles are being deployed in many cities around the world. Because of its capabilities, AutoDrive allows Olli to perform in situations where others have problems operating:  25MPH speeds,  no GPS necessary, freedom to go around ad-hoc obstacles, narrow roadways, mixed pedestrian vehicular traffic, multi-lane crossings,  etc.  AutoDrive defines the State of the art in shuttle autonomy.

Robotic Research and their partners (Pratt & Miller Engineering, Comet Mobility, Easterseals, University of Michigan, Western Michigan University and Kivediya) deployed two autonomous shuttles to Western Michigan University. Through support from a Michigan Mobility Challenge Grant, the New Autonomous Mobility Vision for Michigan (NAMV-Mi) project has demonstrated two accessible, electric, automated shuttles for use as first-last-mile mobility. The NAMV-Mi project has been developed to address the real-world needs of all people, regardless of age or ability. Special attention has been given to augment the core vehicles to ensure accessibility and provide a new mobility option for all people.

Robotic Research has the honor of autonomously transporting wounded warriors at the Army’s Fort Bragg from the Warrior Transition Barracks to Womack Army Medical Center through its ARIBO program. Robotic Research has partnered with Cushman on this highly successful program that provides easier transportation for medical appointments for our wounded warriors.

Our Autonomy in Action.