Houston metro system to pilot automated electric transit vehicles - Smart Energy Decisions

Commercial, Sourcing Renewables  -  March 23, 2021

Houston metro system to pilot automated electric transit vehicles

Houston METRO will soon be deploying automated, zero-emission transit vehicles through a new program funded by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA).

AECOM assisted the regional transit provider in completing the application for the $1.5 million grant through the FTA’s Accelerating Innovative Mobility initiative. The project will involve piloting automated electric shuttle buses that will serve Texas Southern University, University of Houston and Houston’s Third Ward neighborhood and is expected to be fully operational in spring 2022.

“The shuttle will connect to METRO buses and light rail and be studied for potential use in urban, suburban, and rural environments,” Kim Williams, METRO’s chief innovation officer, said in a statement. “Our industry continues to evolve with new technology that prioritizes clean air quality.”

The shuttle buses to be deployed in the city will be the first transit vehicle with automation operating in real traffic conditions that meets FTA guidelines. AECOM will provide management, planning and engineering services throughout the project, while the pilot automated vehicle will be provided by Phoenix Motorcars using software from EasyMile.


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