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FTA Launches Five-Year Study of Benefits of Vehicle Automation to Public Transit

Much of the scientific inquiry into the potential effects of automated vehicles has focused on ride hailing and transportation networking companies. What about good old-fashioned buses?
December 12, 2017, 9am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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The Federal Transit Administration recently unveiled a five-year research initiative to explore the benefits of automated vehicles to public transit.

Greg Rogers shares news and insight into the new initiative, called the Strategic Transit Automation Reearch (STAR) Plan, which is intended to "serve as a guide for the agency and transit stakeholders through FY 2022."

According to Rogers, the initiative will shift the focus of the inquiry into the potential benefits of automated vehicles away from transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft. Instead, "STAR will focus solely on buses….For the purposes of this research, FTA is broadly defining buses to include “traditional” buses (e.g., cutaways, 40 foot buses, and articulated buses) as well as innovative vehicle designs like driverless shuttles (e.g. EasyMile)."

Rogers also shares the timeline for the START project, which "entails at least one – and sometimes three – demonstration projects per fiscal year through FY 2022, plus a slew of research initiatives to understand the effectiveness of automated buses, consumer acceptance, and potential workforce impacts…"

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Published on Friday, December 8, 2017 in Eno Center for Transportation
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