Strategic Transit Automation Research Plan

Strategic Transit Automation Research Plan

Transit bus automation could deliver many potential benefits, but transit agencies need additional research and policy guidance to make informed deployment decisions. Although funding and policy constraints may play a role, there is also a reasonable unwillingness to risk public funding or to undertake new operational models without a full understanding of the approach or without federal leadership and guidance. The purpose of this report is to define a five-year Strategic Transit Automation Research Plan that will establish a research and demonstration framework to move the transit industry forward. Key components of the Plan include conducting enabling research, identifying and resolving barriers to deployment, leveraging technologies from other sectors, demonstrating market-ready technologies, and transferring knowledge to the transit stakeholder community.

Key findings

There is growing interest in partial to full automation of bus transit, with several demonstrations and test sites being planned or already underway.

Automation could enable new forms of transit service that provide increased mobility, flexibility, and convenience.

An initial analysis confirmed there are several partial automation applications that have a clear business case for transit agency investment.

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