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New Flyer, Robotic Research Partner to Develop Autonomous Bus Technology

Published by Inside Unmanned Systems
New Flyer of America Inc., is partnering with Robotic Research, LLC to develop and deploy advanced driver-assistance systems (“ADAS”) for heavy-duty transit buses.

The team will develop an Xcelsior CHARGE™ battery-electric bus able to perform all driving tasks autonomously while actively monitoring the driving environment. The technology will be tested at Robotic Research facilities in late 2019, with closed course operation anticipated for 2020, the companies said in a statement. To simulate realistic public transit applications, a trained onboard safety attendant will be utilized for evaluation and demonstration.

“We are extremely excited to be partnering with New Flyer to help usher in a new future for public transportation that offers greater safety for the public and reduced carbon emissions for our environment,” said Edward Mottern, vice president of Robotic Research in a statement.

New Flyer is a subsidiary of NFI Group Inc., the largest bus manufacturer in North America. New Flyer’s significant investment in ADAS technology builds on a history of transit innovation. In 2017, New Flyer opened its Vehicle Innovation Center, the first and only innovation lab of its kind in North America dedicated to the advancement of bus and coach technology. Since opening, the VIC has welcomed more than 1,500 attendees through its doors for industry-wide collaboration, education, and workforce development related to zero-emission, connected, and automated vehicle technologies.

Robotic Research is a privately held, U.S.-based innovative engineering and technology company providing software, robotic technology, and autonomous solutions to commercial and government customers. Its testing facilities are located in Gaithersburg and Clarksburg, Maryland.

The team plans to demonstrate its technology in a multitude of pilot programs being funded around the U.S. and in other countries, Mottern said.

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