Autonomous ATX: Capital Metro and RATP Dev to highlight future of public transportation during SXSW
Demonstration of 12-person, fully electric autonomous mini-shuttle to be held March 16 & 17 at The University of Texas at Austin.
AUSTIN, Texas (March 15, 2017) - Capital Metro, along with RATP Dev, the parent company of McDonald Transit, will preview the future of public transportation by hosting a demonstration of an EasyMile EZ10 fully autonomous shuttle.
The demonstration will be held March 16-17 on the campus of The University of Texas at Austin. Free rides will be offered on a first come, first served basis on Thursday, March 16 from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. and on Friday, March 17 from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.
The 12-passenger, all-electric EZ10 will run pre-determined routes on a closed course in parking lot 37, beside Sid Richardson Hall for the media and general public. Sid Richardson Hall is located at 2300 Red River St. on the UT campus.
The demonstration is 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.
ATP 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.
Tomorrow's 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.
TR researchers will be demonstrating 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.org; to learn more about RATP Dev, visit ratpdev.com.
Capital Metro: Mariette Hummel, 917-592-8633, firstname.lastname@example.org
RATP Dev: David Barkoe, 917-359-7222, email@example.com
The University of Texas: Patrick Wiseman, 512-232-8060, Patrick.firstname.lastname@example.org