Heavy duty transit bus maker New Flyer and Maryland-based autonomous vehicle development company Robotic Research have unveiled the Xcelsior AV self-driving transit bus, which is reported to be North America’s first fully operational heavy duty autonomous transit bus.
New Flyer started its autonomous program with Robot Research back in May 2019, and launched a pilot in Connecticut last year using three of its Charge all-electric buses. Now the first dedicated Level 4 autonomous bus is ready to roll.
“Autonomous technology is not only expected to increase the safety of transit, but is also anticipated to increase the throughput and utilization of vehicles,” said president of Robotic Research, Alberto Lacaze. ” Automated buses have the potential to improve traffic patterns and reduce stop-and-go traffic, benefiting not only the users of mass transportation, but the whole infrastructure. New Flyer just introduced the missing piece of a fully integrated, smart transportation solution. This vehicle unlocks a new era of Transportation as a Service, leveraging technological advancements across industries to create a safer, cleaner, more efficient, and more accessible transportation solution for the public.”
The brain of the autonomous vehicle’s system is Robot Research’s AutoDrive self-driving technology, which uses data gathered by sensors like cameras, LiDAR, GPS and radars to create a 3D model of the world around the vehicle, as well as detect other vehicles, pedestrians and so on.