The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) has exercised an option with New Flyer to purchase 45 additional hybrid buses. New Flyer and Robotic Research have recently developed the Xcelsior AV and claim this is North America’s first fully automated transit bus.
The latest order from MBTA follows recent contracts from the Massachusetts, public transport provider for New Flyer for low and zero-emission buses. These include a 2020 deal for 60 Xcelsior hybrid buses, a 2019 contract for 194 Xcelsior electric buses, and a 2019 contract for five battery-electric Xcelsior CHARGE zero-emission buses.
MBTA is one of the largest transit systems in the US and provides public transport services in Greater Boston, carrying approximately 32 million passengers per year.
“Our partnership with MBTA spans 45 years, having delivered more than 1,500 buses, of which over 500 incorporate hybrid technology,” said Chris Stoddart, President, New Flyer of America. “As we continually innovate our products to become more sustainable, we continue to see early adopters like MBTA to introduce the latest technology. Advanced hybrid-electric buses like this will result in immediate GHG reduction and are a critical transition step in the evolution to zero-emission mobility.”
Furthermore, at the forefront of electric bus development, the new Xcelsior AV developed by New Flyer and Robotic Research should integrate advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) technology. They say it meets Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Standard J3016 Level 4 technology. The autonomous electric bus features in the following video:
“The technology is real, and it’s here,” said Chris Stoddart, President, New Flyer and MCI. “In the future, we expect fleets of automated buses to improve road safety and with the potential to shorten commute times, increase energy efficiency, and reduce congestion. As standards and regulations are developed and implemented, and automated buses are deployed across North America, we expect our Xcelsior AV to enable meaningful improvements in the public transit user experience, hopefully leading to increased ridership. Together with Robotic Research, we are leading clean, accessible, reliable mobility that’s safer for all.”
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