DALLAS (August 1, 2023) – The Automated Bus Consortium™, a collective of U.S. transit agencies and several state departments of transportation, will advertise an updated request for proposals (RFP) first issued in January 2022, to procure full-size highly automated transit buses. Updates will be made to the bus specifications and RFP based on lessons learned and the latest automation industry advancements with the goal of releasing the updated RFP in early 2024.
The RFP represents the first-ever carbon neutral automated bus procurement and large-scale deployment for full-sized buses. The State of Michigan is serving as the lead procurement agency on behalf of the Consortium agencies. Formed by AECOM, the Automated Bus Consortium is a first-of-its-kind approach to investigate the feasibility of pilot automated bus projects and accelerate the deployment of automated transit technologies.
The highly automated buses will operate in pre-determined environments and still have drivers, steering wheels, and pedals. Based on agency procurement decisions, these vehicles would be placed into service on pilot routes selected by each participating agency, resulting in significant advancements in understanding the impacts of automation. Pilot routes for these vehicles would include rural and urban deployments, bus rapid transit, bus yard and local bus service.
Current participants in this program include member agencies City of Detroit, Dallas Area Rapid Transit, Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, MetroLINK, Michigan Department of Transportation/Office of Future Mobility and Electrification, Capital Area Transportation Authority, Michigan State University, Huron Transit Corporation, NJ TRANSIT, Trinity Metro, and RATP Dev USA. New Consortium members are welcome to join and are encouraged to contact us at ABC@aecom.com to learn more.
“Our initial RFP was successful in further advancing the automated transit industry and generated much interest from industry partners. We can now apply lessons learned from the last several years, incorporate current priorities, and integrate updated automation requirements to better meet agency needs,” said Jean Ruestman, Michigan Department of Transportation/Office of Passenger Transportation.
By combining the purchasing power of multiple agencies across the U.S., the Automated Bus Consortium aims to accelerate the adoption of modern, safety-focused automated features not yet available to the U.S. industry. These features are designed to assist the bus operator in maneuvering the vehicle safely and improve service reliability.
Currently the Consortium members are gathering input from the bus and automation industry. This input will be considered as they look to make updates to the RFP requirements. To set up an informational meeting, contact us at ABC@aecom.com.
About the Automated Bus Consortium
With rapid advancement of automated technologies and the urgent need to improve mobility options while safely and effectively mitigating congestion in cities across the United States, the Consortium’s collaborative effort to leverage its combined resources and launch its pilot deployment program of full-sized carbon neutral highly automated buses is groundbreaking. Using cost-efficient and standardized methodologies and assessment, the Consortium will lead the nation’s effort to deploy and evaluate automated bus technology. Learn more about the Consortium at https://www.automatedbusconsortium.com.
Senior Manager, External Communications