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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

FTA-Managed Transit Bus Automation Demonstration Projects

What do new technologies mean for public transit agencies? FTA funds demonstrations and pilots to conduct applied, practical research for transit bus automation and to bring transit agencies, researchers, and industries together to learn and share in support of mobility and safety goals.

The locations of FTA-funded automated transit bus demonstrations and pilots are shown below. The projects included in the map and table focus on testing automation systems for full-size transit buses or smaller transit vehicles (e.g., low-speed automated shuttles and light-duty vehicles).

Map of FTA-Funded Transit Bus Automation Demonstrations & Pilots

Map of transit bus automation projects in the United States

FTA has funded and managed transit bus automation projects through programs such as: 

Additional projects have been funded by other USDOT modal administrations or by departmental programs, including:

Table of FTA-Funded Transit Bus Automation Demonstrations & Pilots

Lead Agency Project Description Location Status Grant Funding Links
University of Alabama Testing automation technologies for large transit buses using a lab simulation environment and real-world tests to demonstrate cost-effectiveness and equity impacts. Tuscaloosa, AL In Planning $2M ADAS Award

University of Alabama Website

ADAS and Yard Ops. Project Selections

Valley Metro Regional Public Transportation Authority (Valley Metro) Providing service to users of the RideChoice program via Waymo vehicles. The initial phase of testing provided rides to Valley Metro employees. On-road testing was completed in summer 2020. Phoenix Metropolitan Area, AZ Completed $250K MOD Award

Valley Metro Website

FTA Fact Sheet 

Case Study 

Final Report

Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA)

Testing automated vehicles through three real-world demonstration projects:

Project 1 will use novel-design shuttles (Olli shuttles equipped with an Oxa ADS) operated by Beep to serve the Rossmoor senior community in Walnut Creek, CA.

Project 2 will use light-duty minivans (six operating with a seventh spare vehicle) to provide a wheelchair-accessible microtransit service through Via to improve access to healthcare in Martinez, CA. The vehicles used will be Toyota Sienna models equipped with ADS from May Mobility.

Project 3 will test personal mobility applications on I-680 using ADS-equipped Nissan vehicles in San Ramon, CA. Because this third project does not include a transit application, it is not shown in the map above this table.

Contra Costa County, CA In Planning $7.5M ADS Demo Grant

CCTA Website

FTA Fact Sheet

ADS Grants Site

CCTA Press Release

Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) Partnering with the Western Reserve Transit Authority (WRTA), Transdev, and CALSTART to test an ADS-equipped cutaway bus in Mahoning Valley, OH and Santa Clara Valley, CA.  Santa Clara County, CA In Planning $2.3M AIM Grant (shared with WRTA)

VTA Website

AIM Project Selections

Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA)

Developing accessibility features for an automated shuttle and testing it at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System. The vehicle used for testing was originally a Local Motors Olli shuttle, but in early 2022, work with that vehicle was paused due to the closure of Local Motors.
I

n January 2024, VTA launched a five-month “VTA Innovation and Veterans Affairs” (VIVA) service at the VA Palo Alto Health Care Medical Center. The service uses a shuttle from Gaussin Macnica Mobility (GAMA), formerly Navya. Beep is managing operation of the shuttles.

Santa Clara County, CA Completed $845K CMAQ Grant

VTA Website

CMAQ Site


 

Access Services of LA Testing an ADS-equipped shuttle providing service between a light rail station and Veterans Administration (VA) hospital. Access Services partnered with LILEE Systems for the ADS. The demonstration took place in a controlled environment (Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center) rather than on public roads. The team is still producing the final report for the project. Los Angeles County, CA Completed $120K STAR Strategic Partner

Access Services Website

 FTA Fact Sheet

STAR Plan Report 

Final Report Pending

Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) Demonstrating ADAS technology in three retrofitted vehicles (including a cutaway bus and two motor coaches) that serve critical rural transit routes. The project will incorporate smooth acceleration and deceleration, automated emergency braking and pedestrian collision avoidance, and narrow lane/shoulder operations. Denver, CO In Planning $1.3M ADAS Award

CDOT Website

ADAS and Yard Ops. Project Selections

Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) Testing automated, electric New Flyer Xcelsior CHARGE 40-foot buses on the CTfastrak bus rapid transit corridor. Applications include bus platooning, and precision docking. Forterra (formerly Robotic Research Autonomous Industries) is the ADS provider and other project partners include CTE, New Flyer, the University of Connecticut, and the Capital Region Council of Governments. New Britain and Hartford, CT In Planning $2M IMI Grant

CTDOT Website

FTA Fact Sheet

IMI Project Selections

Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) Expanding an existing FTA-sponsored transit automation program along the CTfastrak bus rapid transit corridor. The project will incorporate collision avoidance, precision docking assist, and other ADAS features to enhance safety and accessibility throughout the CTfastrak local bus network. New Britain and Hartford, CT In Planning $2M ADAS Award

CTDOT Website

ADAS and Yard Ops. Project Selections

Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) Testing 14 ADS-equipped vans and other ITS systems in Jacksonville, FL as part of the “Bay Street Innovation Corridor” service that is scheduled to begin in 2025. Partners include Balfour Beatty, Beep, and Oxa. Operations will occur on an at-grade loop along Bay Street from Hogan Street to the Sports and Entertainment District. Jacksonville, FL In Planning $25M BUILD Grant ($12.5 million for “Bay Street Innovation Corridor” project)

JTA Website

BUILD Grant Fact Sheet

BUILD Grant 2018 Awards

Case Study

JTA BUILD Grant Site

Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) Retrofitting a bus with automated systems to allow for routine bus yard tasks to be done more efficiently. The agency will implement automated parking and recall to improve bus yard operations and reallocate driver time. Pinellas County, FL In Planning $893,000 Maintenance and Yard Ops. Award

PSTA Website

ADAS and Yard Ops. Project Selections

University of Iowa Testing an ADS-equipped bus (Starlite Transit bus built on a Ford Transit 350 HD Cutaway Cab chassis) on a 47-mile loop from Iowa City through rural areas and small towns, providing an example for how ADS can connect rural populations (focus on connecting rural transportation-challenged populations such as older adults). Project partners included Iowa DOT, AutonomouStuff, and Mandli Communications. The project completed the final phase of testing in May 2023. Johnson County, IA Completed $7M ADS Demo Grant

University of Iowa Website

FTA Fact Sheet

ADS Grants Site

Final Report Pending

Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) of Southern Nevada  Testing an automated circulator shuttle in the Las Vegas Medical District. The vehicles to be used for the project are to be determined. RTC expects to launch service in 2025. Las Vegas, NV In Planning $5.3M BUILD Grant

RTC Website

BUILD Grant Fact Sheet

BUILD Grant 2018 Awards

Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) Testing lateral lane-keeping and bus platooning to improve operations and reduce headways between buses as they traverse Exclusive Bus Lane (XBL) between the Lincoln Tunnel and New Jersey Turnpike. PANYNJ partnered with Southwest Research Institute (SwRI). The team conducted initial off-site testing in December 2021 and conducted on-facility XBL testing in summer 2022.  New York Metropolitan Area (NY and NJ) Completed $250K STAR Strategic Partner

PANYNJ Website

FTA Fact Sheet

Final Report

Western Reserve Transit Authority (WRTA) Partnering with the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA), Transdev, and CALSTART to test an ADS-equipped cutaway bus in Mahoning Valley, OH and Santa Clara Valley, CA. Mahoning County, OH In Planning $2.3M AIM Grant (Shared with VTA)

WRTA Website

FTA Fact Sheet

AIM Project Selections

Lane Transit District (LTD) Operation of an automated 60-foot articulated New Flyer bus on a 1.5-mile segment of LTD’s Emerald Express Bus Rapid Transit route, with applications including lateral lane-keeping and precision docking. Lane County, OR Completed $1.9M VAA Demo

LTD Website

Evaluation Report

Final Report

Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority (CapMetro) Integrating vehicle automation in an advanced yard management system and completing heavy-duty vehicle demonstrations at an operations facility in Austin, TX. The project includes a bus automation workforce analysis to address how bus yard automation may impact existing roles and create demand for new positions. Austin, TX In Planning $950,000 Maintenance and Yard Ops. Award

CapMetro Website

ADAS and Yard Ops. Project Selections

Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO) Testing an automated cutaway bus to provide service to Texas Southern University and Houston's Third Ward community. The service will connect to Metro buses and light rail. Phoenix Motorcars will provide the bus for the project and Perrone Robotics will provide the ADS. Harris County, TX In Planning $1.5M AIM Grant

METRO Website

FTA Fact Sheet

AIM Project Selections

City of Arlington, TX

Integrating automated vehicles from May Mobility into its existing on-demand system operated with the Via ride-sharing service. The service initially included four Lexus RX 450h SUVs and one wheelchair-accessible Polaris GEM shuttle.

The initial one-year demonstration (March 2021-March 2022) was funded through an IMI grant from FTA. The North Central Texas Council of Governments announced funding to extend the Arlington RAPID service through at least 2024. The funds come from a mix of CMAQ, STBG, and Transportation Development Credits (TDCs).

May Mobility has replaced its fleet with ADS-equipped Toyota Sienna vans, including one that is accessible for wheelchair users.

Arlington, TX Completed (FTA funded portion has been completed, but additional funding was secured for continued operations) $1.7M IMI Grant

Arlington Website

FTA Fact Sheet

IMI Project Selections

Final Report

Pierce Transit Testing DCS Technologies’ Pedestrian Avoidance Safety System (PASS) automated emergency braking in 30 buses. This project was rescoped to focus on driver assistance technology, and the automation component was not activated when the buses were in revenue service. Pierce County, WA Completed $1.6M SRD Grant

Pierce Transit Website

Case Study

Final Report