The First Level 4 Autonomous Bus by New Flyer

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Public transportation is a popular choice among urban commuters. There’s many different reasons why commuters choose public transportation over other options. Some can not afford a vehicle to commute to or from destinations such as work. Others don’t want to deal with traffic jams or high parking fees, usually associated with dense urban areas. One such form of transportation is the bus. Buses are a cheap and convenient way to commute, especially if the distance isn’t too far. But as popular as the bus is, there’s always room for improvement. This is where heavy duty transit bus maker New Flyer and Maryland-based autonomous vehicle development company Robotic Research come in.

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What has New Flyer and Robotic Research developed?

The Xcelsior AV combines New Flyer’s all-electric transit bus platform with self-driving technologies from Robotic Research.
The Xcelsior AV combines New Flyer’s all-electric transit bus platform with self-driving technologies from Robotic Research.

Heavy duty transit bus maker New Flyer and Robotic Research have developed North America’s first fully operational heavy duty autonomous bus known as, Xcelsior AV self-driving transit bus.

When did New Flyer and Robotic Research start working on it’s autonomous vehicle program?

It all started back in May 2019, when both companies began working together, and last year launching a pilot program using three Charge-all-electric buses. After lots of hard work, they’ve finally revealed the first ever dedicated Level 4 autonomous bus.

What controls the autonomous Xcelsior AV self-driving transit bus?

Autonomous system sensors include cameras, LiDAR, GPS and radars (New Flyer)
Autonomous system sensors include cameras, LiDAR, GPS and radars (New Flyer)

The Xcelsior Av self-driving bus is controlled by Robot Research’s AutoDrive self-driving technology. This technology uses data gathered by sensors like cameras, LiDAR, GPS, and radars to create a 3D model of the world around the bus. This allows the system to detect other vehicles and pedestrians.

How does the AutoDrive self-driving technology work

Level 4 autonomy is possible thanks to Robot Research’s AutoDrive and drive-by-wire system.
Level 4 autonomy is possible thanks to Robot Research’s AutoDrive and drive-by-wire system.

The autonomous system works alongside the buses drive-by-wire-setup to steer, move along and brake when necessary. It also allows the bus to keep moving even when GPS data isn’t available. What you get is a bus that can respond to real-time events as they occur.

Other amazing assistive technologies

  • Parking and docking assist.
  • Bling-spot warning.
  • Collision mitigation.
  • System allows for vehicle-to-vehicle communications.
  • Vehicle-to-infrastructure for integration into smart cities.
  • Allows operators to examine performance stats gathered by the integrated data collection system.

Main features of the Xcelsior Av transit bus

The 40-seat all-electric self-driving transit bus has room for 40 seated passengers and space for two wheelchair users.
The 40-seat all-electric self-driving transit bus has room for 40 seated passengers and space for two wheelchair users.

  • 41-feet-long.
  • Has 40 seats and room for passengers to stand.
  • Two spaces for wheelchairs.
  • Powered by the New Flyer Charge battery electric propulsion system.
  • Other Charge all-electric buses can host 160-kWh to 466-batteries for up to 225 miles (360 km) per charge range.
  • Designed for around-the-clock operations due to support for plug-in and on-route charging solutions.

To find out more about the Xcelsior AV transit bus, visit: Xcelsior Av

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