AUTOMATED VEHICLES: Florida Automated Vehicles Summit shifts self-driving focus to transit

Dec. 17, 2014

Automated buses, shuttles demoed as discussion shifts to integration

Technology companies from all over the world converged on the Walt Disney Speedway in Orlando, Fla., this week to demonstrate the latest in self-driving vehicle technology at the second annual Florida Automated Vehicles Summit.

While the likes of Google, Audi and other auto manufacturers have dominated the self-driving technology newswire in recent months, the summit provided a glimpse of how the idea could be applied toward public transportation. Several new concepts were highlighted:

  • Jerusalem-based MobileEye demonstrated a camera system for buses that can detect when pedestrians are approaching and alert the driver. Equipped on an Orlando LYNX bus for the demonstration, the as-yet-unnamed system employs a flashing light and audible alarm to warn the driver to stop.
  • French manufacturer Veeo showcased its fully automated electric NAVIA shuttle system, which can be pre-programmed to follow specific routes and can be hailed through a smartphone app. Veeo said it is reaching out to American universities to find test sites for the system.

The Florida Department of Transportation, which hosted the summit, revealed that it is working with three state universities on ways to integrate self-driving vehicles into public transportation systems across the state. Areas of research include long-range metropolitan traffic management and providing access to individuals with limited transportation options, such as the elderly.

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