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New Flyer Unveils North America’s First Automated Bus

Published by APTA Passenger Transport

NEW FLYER OF AMERICA INC., ST. CLOUD, MN, has unveiled its Xcelsior AV—North America’s first fully operational heavy-duty automated public transit bus. “Our Xcelsior AV represents the anticipated future of safety in public transit and the latest leap forward for New Flyer. We committed to building an automated transit bus and within five years, we’ve delivered an industry-changing vehicle,” said Chris Stoddart, President, New Flyer and MCI. “The technology is real and it’s here. In the future, we expect fleets of automated buses to improve road safety and with the potential to shorten commute times, increase energy efficiency and reduce congestion. Together with Robotic Research, we are leading clean, accessible, reliable mobility that’s safer for all.” Xcelsior AV capabilities are made possible by Clarksburg, MD-based Robotic Research’s AutoDrive, a self-driving technology that serves as the “eyes and brain” of the autonomous system, processing the world around the bus, including mapping the environment, making decisions and navigating the route; and Robotic Research’s AutoDrive ByWire, which serves as the “hands and feet” of the automated system, controlling the steering, braking and throttle. “Autonomous technology is not only expected to increase the safety of transit but is also anticipated to increase the throughput and utilization of vehicles. 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,” said Alberto Lacaze, president of Robotic Research. “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.” Xcelsior AV system capabilities include environment visualization, pedestrian and vehicle detection, precision docking, vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications, and day or night operation. The Connecticut Department of Transportation has already announced that it will deploy Xcelsior AV buses to serve on its CTfastrak BRT route between New Britain and Hartford.

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