MDOT, PlanetM Join Automated Bus Consortium in California to Launch Pilots

The Michigan Department of Transportation and PlanetM in Lansing have joined the Automated Bus Consortium, a California-based association of transit and transportation agencies that will investigate the feasibility of piloting automated bus projects across the U.S.
482
automated bus rendering
The Michigan Department of Transportation and PlanetM have joined the Automated Bus Consortium to investigate the feasibility of piloting automated buses. // Rendering courtesy of the Automated Bus Consortium

The Michigan Department of Transportation and PlanetM in Lansing have joined the Automated Bus Consortium, a California-based association of transit and transportation agencies that will investigate the feasibility of piloting automated bus projects across the U.S.

“Michigan is continuing its legacy as the global epicenter of mobility through its membership and leadership in the Automated Bus Consortium,” says Amanda Roraff, director of technology activation for PlanetM. “This first-of-its-kind initiative will bring forty-foot-long automated buses to Michigan as part of a new pilot testing program being rolled out around the country.”

“Participating in this groundbreaking pilot was an easy decision for the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), given our leadership in innovative mobility solutions and serving all users,” says Paul C. Ajegba, director of MDOT. “The state has an important role in supporting the development of automated technology and making sure it is safely deployed.”

Created by AECOM, a fully integrated infrastructure firm, the consortium plans to accelerate the deployment of automated transit technologies and will combine the purchasing power and collaborative decision making of the founding transit agencies nationwide.

The pilot projects will use full-sized, full-speed buses, which will enable consortium members to collectively demonstrate and deploy automated technologies in live service environments.

AECOM also will host an industry forum on Sept. 12 at Detroit’s Shinola Hotel where members will meet technology companies and bus manufacturers to discuss the development of program specifications for buses for each region.

“Participating in this groundbreaking pilot was an easy decision for the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), given our leadership in innovative mobility solutions and serving all users,” says Paul C. Ajegba, director of MDOT. “The state has an important role in supporting the development of automated technology and making sure it is safely deployed.”

Other founding members include Dallas Area Rapid Transit; Foothill Transit; Long Beach Transit; Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority; MetroLINK; Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority; Minnesota Department of Transportation/Rochester Public Transit; Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority; and Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation/Hampton Roads Transit.

Consortium members will define candidate deployment routes and locations, operating plans, automated bus specifications, financial plans, and deployment strategies. AECOM will manage the planning, assessment, implementation, and evaluation of the program’s rollout in all locations.

The consortium will make an expected initial purchase of 75 to 100 automated buses. By joining the consortium, the cost of conducting local automated bus projects are expected to be reduced for each agency. Lessons learned and best practices will be shared among all agencies.

The plan calls for a 12-month feasibility phase, followed by implementation within a two-year time frame, which is estimated to begin between 2021 and 2022. Each agency will make their own decisions regarding future additional automated bus purchases and deployment following the completion of the feasibility phase.

More information on the consortium and industry forum are available here.

Facebook Comments