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St Paul (KROC AM News) - Two futuristic transportation-related projects involving Rochester are included in an annual report just released by the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

The report from the Minnesota Governor’s Council on Connected and Automated Vehicles (CAV) is a summary of activity during 2020, which was affected by the pandemic.

One of the projects involves a planned autonomous shuttle vehicle in the downtown. It was announced in 2018.

The proposal calls for a circulator route on 6th St SE, 3rd Avenue SW, W. Center St, and S. Broadway. The six-passenger autonomous shuttle is scheduled to launch this spring.

MnDOT says the project was placed on hold last year because of the pandemic. But this allowed the project to test newer technologies, identify infrastructure improvements needed for safe testing on public roadways, evaluate operations in mixed traffic, understand how new technology works in winter weather, and engage with the public.

The other project involves the Highway 52 corridor between Rochester and St. Paul.

Olmsted, Goodhue and Dakota counties are partnering with MnDOT and other stakeholders to understand which CAV technologies could benefit the highway users and communities between St. Paul and Rochester.

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