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09 05 2017 03

The USA’s leading manufacturer of electric buses, Proterra, is initiating the country’s first autonomous bus program with the University of Nevada at Reno (UNR) that will help build public confidence in the safety of eventual self-driving mass transit systems.

Proterra will work on the project with UNR and its Living Lab Coalition partners that includes the Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County (RTC), the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles (NDMV), the Nevada Governor’s Office for Economic Development, Fraunhofer Institute for Transportation and Infrastructure Systems IVI, and the cities of Reno, Sparks and Carson City.

Unlike other programs to date, this autonomous vehicle pilot will deal with real road conditions from the perspective of public transit systems, and emphasize the most challenging aspects related to mass transportation, which include dense and dynamic environments, degraded conditions, and a need for swift emergency response. The pilot will also explore a new set of robotic perception algorithms that are required to address these conditions, and focus on information from multi-modal sensors and new multi-modal localization and mapping systems. Rather than solely detecting traffic, the Living Lab will focus on predicting traffic flows and plans to enhance safety. UNR’s current work focuses on the problems of vehicle perception, navigation control, path planning, and vehicle-to-vehicle/infrastructure (V2X) research.

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