The City of Fishers is dedicated to fostering and supporting innovation, technology, and entrepreneurship. I often think about how our community can be a living laboratory—a testing ground for novel ideas, from a groundbreaking new technology in the biotech industry to a unique small business concept.

Since becoming Mayor in 2015, I’ve established a goal for Fishers to become a smart, vibrant, and entrepreneurial community — a place where you are given permission to fail, but have the tools and motivation to succeed. Our community is always learning, always refining, and always looking to how we can improve for the future. Fishers will always strive to be a place where innovators can innovate, creators can create, and dreamers can make their dreams a reality.  

With this mindset, it was a natural fit for Fishers to serve as the first suburban site for May Mobility’s autonomous vehicle fleet. This free, public autonomous shuttle service, which launched in Fishers on December 20, runs along a three-mile fixed-route loop in our downtown Nickel Plate Cultural District—the epicenter of what it means to work, live, and play in Fishers. With its mix of residential, commercial, and recreational spaces, the Nickel Plate Cultural District is the perfect test site for this technology as our partners identify the nuances of a suburban environment for autonomous technology.

In partnership with Energy Systems Network, Toyota Mobility Foundation, and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, we were able to bring this free, public autonomous technology to our community and offer a new way for our residents to explore all our community has to offer. Inaugurating this technology in our city is a testament to the culture we have been working to create in Fishers. Building this culture allows us to not only adapt quicker to solve our community’s problems, but it also affords us a competitive advantage in the recruitment of great companies and talented people. Fishers is gaining traction both regionally and nationally as a place for growth, innovation, and taking risks. It is because we take these risks ourselves that we are able to be successful.

The opportunity to support innovation directed to solve some of the world’s largest challenges is incredibly exciting for our team. We are not only learning from the technology itself that is being piloted in Fishers, but we are also learning how to better evaluate, deploy, and manage technological innovations. I look forward to seeing how our community responds to this new technology over the next few months, and what new discoveries are made along the way.

My hope is that communities across our region and state embrace this idea of challenging the status quo and pushing the limits of our communities, technology, and systems. Without this, we will stunt our potential to lead the country with the values that set us apart — those values similar to the goal I set for my own community: applying smart solutions to everyday processes, infusing vibrancy into our everyday, and looking at each challenge or opportunity through a lens of entrepreneurship. 

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