Autonomous Shuttle Pilot Project


The Little Roady Pilot Project will bring the first self-driving shuttles to Rhode Island. The service, launching in Spring 2019, is composed of a fleet of fully electric vehicles operating on low-speed roadways along the Woonasquatucket River Corridor, which currently lacks transit service.

Under the terms of the public-private partnership with May Mobility, Inc., RIDOT will contribute $800,000 for the first year of operation. This includes $300,000 of 100 percent federal research funds through the Federal Highway Administration and a $500,000 grant awarded by the R.I. Attorney General's Office as part of a settlement with Volkswagen.

RIDOT's contract with May Mobility includes options to extend the service for an additional two years. The company plans to hire fleet attendants and managers from Rhode Island and will set up a local operations office in Providence.

Route Map


  • Free rides to the public 7 days a week
  • 12 stops, from Olneyville Square to Providence Station
  • 3 and 6 vehicles running at a time
  • Carries 5 passengers
  • Staffed with safety operator trained how to operate the vehicle manually if needed


  • February 2019: Initial Testing, Quonset Business Park
  • March/April 2019: On-route testing in Providence
  • Mid-Spring 2019: Live operations and research begin in Providence
  • Spring 2019 - Spring 2020: Ongoing live operations and research


Representatives from local and regional higher education institutions and technical colleges will explore:

  • Mobility solutions
  • Ridership trends
  • Customer satisfaction/technology adoption
  • Workforce opportunities/impacts
  • Environmental impacts
  • State and local policies