WRTA to Pilot Autonomous Shuttle Bus in Northeast Ohio

First Transit has been selected to operate the Western Reserve Transit Authority’s (WRTA) autonomous shuttle bus pilot in partnership with Perrone Robotics and GreenPower Motor Company.

Throughout the pilot, the WRTA will trial a zero-emission GreenPower Motor Company EV Star shuttle to connect residents in Youngstown, Ohio to Youngstown’s Transit Center, Mercy Hospital and Youngstown State University.

Autonomous Shuttle Bus
The 12-passenger shuttle will follow a set route throughout Youngstown
First Transit’s Senior Vice President Nick Promponas said:

“We are proud to bring innovative mobility solutions to the passengers of WRTA and community of Youngstown. Our customers are at the heart of everything we do, and the community of Youngstown will help us continue to enhance and showcase the power of AV technology.”

First Transit will provide all operations and maintenance services, including onboard attendants to monitor its safety.

Meanwhile, Perrone Robotics will equip the minibus with its TONY (TO Navigate You) autonomy kit.

The autonomous shuttle bus will also have vehicle-to-infrastructure technology (V2I) that can connect to traffic signals, signs and other road items. This information will help improve safety and traffic flow in the region.

Perrone Robotics CEO Paul Perrone said:

“Fully autonomous operations in spacious all-electric, ADA and FMVSS compliant buses manufactured in the US is a repeated request from customers in the transit space. Our leading-edge autonomous driver technology combined into a zero-emissions GreenPower vehicle, operated by the seasoned professional team at First Transit, will bring the future to WRTA.”

This pilot is the first autonomous vehicle trial to take place in Northeast Ohio.

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