UT, AAA to host seminar June 21 on self-driving buses as future of public transportation

June 19, 2018 | Events, UToday, Engineering
By Christine Billau



The University of Toledo College of Engineering and AAA Northwest Ohio are hosting the third in a series of free, public talks to educate consumers about how smart vehicles will impact the world.

The seminar focused on public transportation and self-driving buses is from 9 to 11 a.m. Thursday, June 21, in UT’s Nitschke Auditorium.

Speakers will include Jim Gee, general manager of the Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority; Chris Pauly, director of business development in North America for NAVYA; and retired Lt. Col. John Tucker, sales specialist for Path Master Inc.

All speakers also will participate in a panel discussion with Dr. Eddie Chou, UT professor of civil and environmental engineering and director of the Transportation Systems Research Lab, and Dr. Bhuiyan Alam, UT associate professor of geography and planning.

“Self-driving buses that are wirelessly connected with riders could provide convenient, flexible and affordable service as an alternative to driving,” Chou said. “Public transportation will continue to be an important part of the mobility solution, but it needs to adapt and embrace new technologies and paradigms and perhaps form public-private partnerships to provide desirable services.”

NAVYA, a manufacturer of fully autonomous, fully electric 15-passenger shuttles and six-passenger taxi cabs, will have an autonomous, driverless bus with no steering wheel parked at UT.

“Ever-advancing technology is bringing autonomous vehicle technology to our roadways, perhaps quicker than some may have anticipated,” Edgar Avila, AAA executive vice president, said. “Public self-driving shuttle buses are already in use across the country, like the AAA-sponsored bus offering service in Las Vegas and the electric shuttle that began offering rides on the University of Michigan campus this spring.”

“The steps taken today will positively impact the community by enhancing safety and improving mobility as this region progresses toward the connected and autonomous technologies of the future,” Tucker said.

Register for the free, public seminar online at utoledo.edu/engineering/webforms/TTTWJune.html.

Upcoming topics in the series will include infrastructure and government regulation in September and accessibility in November.