New Flyer to deploy first automated heavy-duty transit bus in North America; supporting Connecticut’s pursuit of integrated mobility
St. Cloud, Minnesota, USA – June 22, 2020: (TSX: NFI) New Flyer of America Inc. (“New Flyer”), a subsidiary of NFI Group Inc. (“NFI”), one of the world’s leading independent global bus manufacturers, announced it will deploy North America’s first automated heavy-duty transit bus with the Connecticut Department of Transportation (“CTDOT”).
The automated driving demonstration project will include the deployment of three forty-foot battery-electric, Xcelsior CHARGE™ heavy-duty transit buses. The zero-emission deployment supports CTDOT’s demonstration project, funded by the Federal Transit Administration’s (“FTA”) Integrated Mobility Innovation (“IMI”) initiative, which supports projects demonstrating innovative and effective practices to enhance public transportation effectiveness, efficiency, quality, safety and transit rider experience.
This marks the first time an automated heavy-duty transit bus will be deployed in revenue service in North America. The project team is led by the CTDOT and consists of New Flyer, New Flyer’s technology partner Robotic Research, and the Center for Transportation and Environment (“CTE”), a nonprofit with extensive experience supporting FTA projects.
“This is an incredible moment for the advancement of automated technology in public transit, and for the continued development of safe, smart, sustainable, and connected mobility across North America,” said Chris Stoddart, President, New Flyer. “For decades, New Flyer has led the public transit industry with innovative firsts. We are proud to work with CTDOT, Robotic Research, and CTE – not only in demonstrating mobility solutions for growing cities – but in showing the world that mitigating climate change, improving safety, and advancing technology can occur in harmony.”
The project is focused on the successful demonstration of automated technology on public roads, collection of relevant data to inform future policymaking, and advancement of Advanced Driving Assist System (ADAS) technology for enhanced safety. The zero-emission electric buses will demonstrate Society of Automotive Engineers (“SAE”) J3016 Level 4 technology with an on-board safety attendant to operate on the CTfastrak bus rapid transit corridor, a dedicated nine-mile-long facility for exclusive use by CTtransit buses.
New Flyer will integrate the Robotic Research automated driving technology into the Xcelsior CHARGE™ buses, CTE will serve as project manager and technical consultant for the program, and New Flyer Infrastructure Solutions™ will support the installation and integration of the electric bus charging equipment. Robotic Research will supply, configure, and support the automated driving systems integrated in the Xcelsior CHARGE™ buses.
The announcement follows New Flyer’s May 2019 launch of an Automated Technology Program and partnership with Maryland-based Robotic Research. For nearly 20 years, Robotic Research has been a leader in autonomous system development and deployment.
New Flyer Infrastructure Solutions™ is dedicated to providing safe, reliable services for smart, sustainable mobility projects. Its full-suite services include support, planning, optimization, and transition to help ensure successful transition to battery-electric mobility, while working closely with leading firms including Siemens, ABB, ChargePoint, Burns & McDonnell and Black & Veatch. For more information, visit newflyer.com/infrastructuresolutions. To learn more about the FTA IMI program, visit transit.dot.gov/imi. To learn more about Robotic Research, visit roboticresearch.com.
New Flyer has been leading innovation in mobility for nearly 90 years, and today supports growing North American cities with sustainable buses, technology, and infrastructure. It also operates the Vehicle Innovation Center, the first and only innovation lab of its kind dedicated to advancing bus technology and providing essential workforce development through electric bus training. New Flyer was the first bus manufacturer in the world to sign on to the Shared Mobility Principles for Livable Cities, and is developing automated bus technology to improve safety in public transit.
With 9,000 team members operating from more than 50 facilities across ten countries, NFI is a leading independent global bus manufacturer providing a comprehensive suite of mass transportation solutions under brands: New Flyer® (heavy-duty transit buses), Alexander Dennis Limited (single and double-deck buses), Plaxton (motor coaches), MCI® (motor coaches), ARBOC® (low-floor cutaway and medium-duty buses), and NFI Parts™. NFI buses and motor coaches incorporate the widest range of drive systems available including: clean diesel, natural gas, diesel-electric hybrid, and zero-emission electric (trolley, battery, and fuel cell). In total, NFI now supports over 105,000 buses and coaches currently in service around the world. NFI common shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol NFI. News and information are available at www.nfigroup.com, www.newflyer.com, www.mcicoach.com, www.arbocsv.com, www.alexander-dennis.com, and www.nfi.parts.
About New Flyer
New Flyer is North America's heavy-duty transit bus leader and offers the most advanced product line under the Xcelsior® and Xcelsior CHARGE™ brands. It also offers infrastructure development through New Flyer Infrastructure Solutions™, a service dedicated to providing safe, sustainable, and reliable charging and mobility solutions. New Flyer actively supports over 41,000 heavy-duty transit buses (New Flyer, NABI, and Orion) currently in service, of which 7,300 are powered by electric motors and battery propulsion and 1,600 are zero-emission. Further information is available at www.newflyer.com.
This press release may contain forward-looking statements relating to expected future events and financial and operating results of NFI Group that involve risks and uncertainties. Although the forward-looking statements contained in this press release are based upon what management believes to be reasonable assumptions, investors cannot be assured that actual results will be consistent with these forward-looking statements, and the differences may be material. Actual results may differ materially from management expectations as projected in such forward-looking statements for a variety of reasons, including market and general economic conditions; there is no production version of the prototype automated bus described in this release and the prototype must be tested, marketed and sold to customers; there may be no demand for this type of automated bus from customers; the economic conditions of and funding availability for customers to purchase this type of automated bus may not exist, now or in the future; customers may not exercise options to purchase additional buses; the ability of customers to suspend or terminate contracts for convenience and the other risks and uncertainties discussed in the materials filed with the Canadian securities regulatory authorities and available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. Due to the potential impact of these factors, the NFI Group disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, unless required by applicable law.
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