The agreement expands the partnership between New Flyer of America Inc. and Robotic Research originally announced in 2019 and builds on the unveiling of North America’s first automated transit bus, the Xcelsior AV™, to pursue integration of Robotic Research’s AutoDrive® technology into new and existing public transit vehicles. The technology, which will incorporate Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Standard J3016 capabilities up to Level 4, will add ADAS features to help prevent pedestrian and cyclist collisions. Ultimately, automated vehicles (AVs) will contribute to improving road safety and lending the potential to shorten commute times, increase energy efficiency, and reduce congestion.
“Through our four-pillar approach to mobility solutions — including buses and coaches, infrastructure, connected technology, and workforce development — we are enabling the new mobility era. Expanding our AV capabilities is a critical part of that vision and fits with our strategy to invest in high-growth areas,” said Paul Soubry, president and CEO, NFI.
In addition to preventing collisions, Robotic Research’s AutoDrive® technology enables precision docking, enabling the bus to maneuver within inches of the level boarding platforms, increasing access for passengers with disabilities in accordance with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) rules. The technology can also enable “leader-follower” behavior, where multiple buses can be electronically linked together to help ease congestion at peak transit times.
The agreement marks NFI’s next stage of investment in ADAS technology, building on the completion of New Flyer’s Xcelsior AV™ unveiled in January 2021, New Flyer’s history-making pilot project with the Connecticut Department of Transportation (funded by the FTA's Integrated Mobility Innovation initiative), and New Flyer's launch of its Automated Technology Program first announced in May 2019.
Robotic Research is a U.S.-based, global leader in technology specializing in autonomy and platooning solutions for commercial and defense customers. Founded in 2002, the company has been a trusted technology partner to the public and private sector for nearly 20 years, driven to make the way people move smarter, safer, and more efficient.