Demonstration of 12-person, fully electric autonomous mini-shuttle held on March 16 & 17 at The University of Texas at Austin.
AUSTIN, Texas (March 17, 2017) - Capital Metro, along with RATP Dev, the parent company of McDonald Transit, previewed the future of public transportation by hosting a public demonstration of an EasyMile EZ10 fully autonomous shuttle March 16-17 on the campus of The University of Texas at Austin.
The 12-passenger, all-electric EZ10 ran pre-determined routes on a closed course beside the University's Sid Richardson Hall for the media and general public. Over the course of the two days, nearly 300 people were able to ride in the autonomous shuttle and experience its connected technologies.
The demonstration was designed to illustrate how Capital Metro and RATP Dev are working together to provide new and innovative ways for people to move around Austin, while helping to reduce emissions that can damage the environment.
"Because transit is not a one-size-fits-all solution to mobility challenges, we are actively working to identify cost-effective technologies that will allow us to better match our services to the needs of the community," said Wade Cooper, chairman of the Capital Metro board of directors.
RATP Dev, operating as McDonald Transit, has been Capital Metro's largest bus service provider since 2012. RATP Dev helps Capital Metro manage and operate its 269-vehicle fleet, providing more than 22 million rides per year, including expanded services to accommodate large increases of visitors during many of Austin's most popular attractions, such as the SXSW festival, Austin City Limits and Formula 1 racing.
"This event is a great example of Capital Metro and RATP Dev's joint commitment to building a public transportation system where new autonomous technologies work in collaboration with existing public transit solutions, while providing safe and environmentally friendly vehicles," said Blaine Rigler, Vice President of Bus at RATP Dev and President of McDonald Transit.
Earlier this year, UT Austin's Center for Transportation Research (CTR) was selected to be a USDOT-approved Autonomous Vehicle Proving Ground. The CTR, along with the Wireless Network and Communications Group, have been developing and exploring technologies that allow vehicles and infrastructure to collect roadway data and then share that data through wireless communication.
CTR researchers demonstrated some of these connected technologies, including object detection via camera and radar fusion; LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) mapping; DSRC (Dedicated Short Range Communications); and millimeter-wave data transfer (at up to 4 gigabytes per second) on UT Austin vehicles.
To learn more about Capital Metro, visit capmetro.com; to learn more about RATP Dev, visit www.ratpdev.com.
# # #
ABOUT RATP DEV
RATP Dev, founded in 2002, operates in 14 countries on four continents (United Kingdom, France, Italy, Switzerland, Algeria, Morocco, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, India, China, South Korea, the Philippines, and the United States of America). In North America RATP Dev employs over 3,800 team members transporting more than 78 million passengers in 18 states and operates a wide range of services to include; fixed route, paratransit, rail, tour bus and sightseeing shuttles.
ABOUT CAPITAL METRO
Capital Metro connects people, jobs and communities by providing high-quality and sustainable transportation choices to Central Texans. Capital Metro provides enough rides each weekday onboard its buses, trains, paratransit and vanpool vehicles to fill Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium and Disch-Falk Field combined. As the regional transportation leader, Capital Metro is driving progress and investing in the region's mobility with high-capacity transit solutions like MetroRapid, which moves more people at less cost and with less impact to the environment. Capital Metro is a financially sound and fiscally responsible agency, winning the highest rating for financial transparency from the Texas Comptroller. Visit capmetro.org for more information.