The Automated Bus Consortium has released a new request for solutions (RFS) to procure heavy-duty highly automated transit buses.

This follows an initial RFP released in January 2022 to procure up to seventy full-size Level 4 automated buses. The new RFS now provides updated guidelines to reflect advancements within the automation industry and to allow for flexibility in bus size and propulsion systems.

karsan atak michigan university
A Karsan Autonomous e-ATAK bus at Michigan State University

Formed by AECOM, the Automated Bus Consortium is a collective of US transit agencies and state departments of transportation. Its updated RFS represents the nation’s first large-scale automated bus procurement for heavy-duty buses.

Through this process, the State of Michigan is serving as the lead procurement agency on behalf of the Consortium.

Jean Ruestman, administrator of the Office of Passenger Transportation at the Michigan Department of Transportation said:

We have made great strides in further advancing the automated transit industry through our previous request for solutions. By incorporating our latest priorities with updated automation requirements to this year’s best-value procurement, we feel confident in our ability to better meet agency needs.

The new vehicles will be rolled out on pilot routes in pre-determined environments selected by each participating agency. These routes would include rural and urban deployments, bus rapid transit, bus yards and local bus services.

By combining the purchasing power of multiple agencies across the US, the Consortium aims to accelerate the adoption of automated features in the bus industry to enhance safety, efficiency and service reliability.

Current participants in the programme include the City of Detroit, Dallas Area Rapid Transit, Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, MetroLINK, Michigan Department of Transportation/Office of Future Mobility and Electrification, Capital Area Transportation Authority, Michigan State University, Huron Transit Corporation, NJ TRANSIT, Trinity Metro and RATP Dev USA.

The 2024 RFS can be found here.


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