First Transit announced that it will operate the Western Reserve Transit Authority (WRTA) autonomous vehicle (AV) pilot, in partnership with Perrone Robotics and GreenPower Motor Company.
The WRTA AV pilot will consist of a zero-emission GreenPower Motor Company EV Star shuttle, which meets all ADA and Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS), according to First Transit's news release.
Perrone Robotics will install its TONY (TO Navigate You) autonomy kit. First Transit said the 12-passenger shuttle will drive a route serving Youngstown residents, businesses, and visitors connecting Youngstown’s Transit Center, Mercy Hospital, and Youngstown State University.
“We are proud to bring innovative mobility solutions to the passengers of WRTA and the community of Youngstown,” said Nick Promponas, First Transit SVP. “Our customers are at the heart of everything we do, and the community of Youngstown will help us continue to enhance and showcase the power of AV technology.”
First Transit added that it is providing all operations and maintenance for the WRTA AV pilot, including onboard attendants to ensure the vehicle's safe operation. This pilot is the first AV pilot announced in Northeast Ohio, according to First Transit. The AV shuttle has vehicle-to-infrastructure technology (V2I) that can be used in the future to connect with traffic signals, signs, and other road items.
“Fully autonomous operations in spacious all-electric, ADA and FMVSS compliant vans manufactured in the U.S. is a repeated request from customers in the transit space,” said Paul Perrone, Perrone Robotics CEO. “Our leading-edge autonomous driver technology combined into a zero-emissions Greenpower vehicle, operated by the seasoned professional team at First Transit, will bring the future to WRTA.”
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