New Flyer previews level 4 autonomous transit bus

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New Flyer of America, an independent bus manufacturer, has unveiled its Xcelsior AV automated transit bus. The launch of the vehicle follows the company’s commencement of its Automated Technology Program in May 2019, and a subsequent partnership with artificial intelligence and automation specialist Robotic Research.

The heavy-duty, automated transit bus uses the company’s Xcelsior Charge battery-electric propulsion system and integrates ADAS technology to achieve SAE Level 4 autonomy.

“Our Xcelsior AV represents the anticipated future of safety in public transit and the latest leap forward for New Flyer,” said Chris Stoddart, president of New Flyer. “We committed to building an automated transit bus, and within five years we’ve delivered an industry-changing vehicle. The technology is real, and it’s here.

“In the future,” he continued, “we expect fleets of automated buses to improve road safety and have the potential to shorten commute times, increase energy efficiency and reduce congestion. As standards and regulations are developed and implemented and automated buses are deployed across North America, we expect our Xcelsior AV to enable meaningful improvements in the public transit user experience, which will hopefully lead to increased ridership. Together with Robotic Research, we are leading clean, accessible, reliable mobility that’s safer for all.”

Robotic Research’s testing facilities are located in Gaithersburg and Clarksburg, Maryland, where the vehicle is currently based. Alberto Lacaze, president at the company noted, “Automated buses have the potential to improve traffic patterns and reduce stop-and-go traffic, benefiting not only the users of mass transportation, but the whole infrastructure. New Flyer just introduced the missing piece of a fully integrated, smart transportation solution.”

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Lawrence has been covering engineering subjects – with a focus on motorsport technology – since 2007 and has edited and contributed to a variety of international titles. Currently, he is responsible for content across UKI Media & Events' portfolio of websites while also writing for the company's print titles.

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