Mobility

First Transit to pilot shared autonomous vehicles on public roads

Posted on June 25, 2018

The SAV is designed to travel short distances using pre-programmed routes, and is equipped with a sensor and intelligent vehicle system to detect obstacles and avoid collisions.
LAVTA
The SAV is designed to travel short distances using pre-programmed routes, and is equipped with a sensor and intelligent vehicle system to detect obstacles and avoid collisions.LAVTA

First Transit is partnering with the Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority (LAVTA) to pilot the first operation of a shared autonomous vehicle (SAV) on a public road by a transit agency in the state of California. This is the fifth SAV initiative for First Transit in North America.

The SAV pilot will connect passengers from the Dublin/Pleasanton Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) station in Dublin, Calif., to nearby shopping and entertainment. The testing phase for this pilot is expected to take two years without passengers.

First Transit will provide operational support, maintenance, and an onboard customer service agent for passenger questions and information. Easy Mile is the SAV manufacturer.

“We are proud to work with the LAVTA team bringing SAV technology to their passengers and community,” said Justin Pate, sr. VP, marketing and business development, at First Transit. “After the testing phase, an onboard customer service agent will be available to answer passenger questions about how this technology is advancing to enhance their transit experience.”

The SAV is designed to travel short distances using pre-programmed routes, and is equipped with a sensor and intelligent vehicle system to detect obstacles and avoid collisions. Each SAV can carry 12 passengers and can operate for 14 hours on one battery charge.

“Our team is excited to work with a firm like First Transit that has experience operating and maintaining SAVs,” said Michael Tree, executive director of LAVTA.

First Transit’s four additional SAV pilots and initiatives across North America include Bishop Ranch Office Park in San Ramon, Calif.; GoMentum Station in Concord, Calif.; the City of Arlington in Arlington, Texas; and the SAV roadshow with the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

Hear about automated vehicle shuttles and more at BusCon 2018, which will be held at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis Oct. 1 to 3.

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