- Published: 05 September 2021
Autonomous shuttles could be making test runs in and around Gateway Technical College’s Racine campus as early as fall after partners on the project selected Perrone Robotics Inc. to participate in the research.
The ultimate goal is to have autonomous cars running either bus or on-demand vehicle service in Racine, said Mayor Cory Mason. The city, Gateway Tech and the University of Wisconsin-Madison Traffic Operations and Safety Laboratory are collaborating and funding the research.
“Our goal is to be a leader in what 21st-century mobility is going to look like in cities like ours,” Mason said.
The Badger vehicle has already been purchased and ran in the city of Racine’s July 4th parade. A next step is actual test runs, with actual transit operators in the driver’s seat to observe and potentially take the wheel of the autonomous vehicle.
Perrone Robotics of Virginia, creator of autonomous vehicle systems, was contracted to provide its TONY, or To Navigate To You, technology. It can operate vehicles up to 25 miles per hour.
"Demonstrating the way automated transportation solutions can be harnessed efficiently alongside existing public transportation systems is an important step toward building smarter and safer cities," said Perrone Robotics CEO Paul Perrone.
The actual test runs of the Badger vehicle have been delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic, Mason said. They were originally hoped to start this past spring. Those tests will happen at Gateway Tech’s parking lots and on the Pershing Park road along the lakefront in Racine, he said.
“We’re ready to start and hit the ground running as soon as Covid allows us to be around other people enough to do the research,” Mason said.
The research into more autonomous vehicle services fits into Racine’s initiatives after being selected in 2019 as a “Smart City” by the national Smart Cities Council. Mobility is among the emphasis points of that research, along with digital connectivity, sustainability and equity.
If the research of the autonomous Badger vehicle proves successful, applications could include using the technology in public transit or for smaller on-demand vehicles in Racine, Mason said.
Autor(en)/Author(s): Sean Ryan
Quelle/Source: The Business Journals, 27.08.2021