Austin, Texas’ Capital Metro along with RATP Dev, the parent company of McDonald Transit, will preview the future of public transportation by hosting a demonstration of an EasyMile EZ10 fully autonomous shuttle.
The demonstration, which will be held March 16 to 17 on the campus of The University of Texas at Austin, is designed to illustrate how Capital Metro and RATP Dev are working together to provide new and innovative ways for people to move around Austin, while helping to reduce emissions that can damage the environment.
“Because transit is not a one-size-fits-all solution to mobility challenges, we are actively working to identify cost-effective technologies that will allow us to better match our services to the needs of the community,” said Wade Cooper, chairman of the Capital Metro board of directors.
RATP Dev, operating as McDonald Transit, has been Capital Metro’s largest bus service provider since 2012. RATP Dev helps Capital Metro manage and operate its 269-vehicle fleet, providing more than 22 million rides per year, including expanded services to accommodate large increases of visitors during many of Austin’s most popular attractions, such as the SXSW festival, Austin City Limits, and Formula 1 racing.
Earlier this year, UT Austin’s Center for Transportation Research (CTR) was selected to be a U.S. DOT-approved Autonomous Vehicle Proving Ground. The CTR, along with the Wireless Network and Communications Group, have been developing and exploring technologies that allow vehicles and infrastructure to collect roadway data and then share that data through wireless communication.
CTR researchers will be demonstrating some of these connected technologies, including object detection via camera and radar fusion; LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) mapping; DSRC (Dedicated Short Range Communications); and millimeter-wave data transfer (at up to four gigabytes per second) on UT Austin vehicles.