USDOT Announces $6.5m in Funding for Bus Automation

The US Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has announced 6.5 million USD in funding for bus automation projects that aim to improve safety and efficiency.

These projects could include driver-assistance technology developments for avoiding collisions with pedestrians, improving emergency braking, and providing advanced precision movement for bus fuelling, charging and maintenance.

The funding aims to help maximise the benefits of evolving bus technologies
FTA Administrator Nuria Fernandez said:

“This funding opportunity demonstrates the Department’s commitment to supporting the use of technology that improves safety for transit riders and workers.”

Under the Notice of Funding Opportunity, 5 million USD is available for the development of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) for transit buses, which will help improve bus operator safety and efficiency.

Meanwhile, an additional 1.5 million USD is available for automated transit bus maintenance operations. These projects will aim to improve efficiency and safety in bus maintenance facilities.

This funding supports the agency’s Strategic Transit Automation Research (STAR) Plan by exploring the use of driving automation technologies in bus systems.

As part of this plan, FTA is funding several demonstrations in real-world settings to determine potential benefits, costs, and other impacts of automation. It is also providing transit agencies with resources, guidance, and tools to make informed decisions as they consider deploying transit buses with automated features.

Research priorities will include exploring how new technologies can improve safety by reducing collisions caused by human error, both by bus drivers and other road users.

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