Phoenix to Test Autonomous Vehicles for Public Transport

May 25, 2023
$250,000 will be spent to determine the need of AVs

Phoenix will begin researching and testing automated vehicles (AV) for public transportation in order to gain data on users and applicable service models, according to a recent request for proposals.

The Valley Metro Regional Public Transportation Authority wants to know the demand for AVs, the adoption rate of AVs, along with barriers to users’ access, and infrastructure needs to facilitate their use in future transportation options.

According to the May 1 RFP, over a five-year period, Valley Metro will spend $250,000 to determine the best use of AVs in Phoenix’s metropolitan areas.

The RFP calls for AVs that are level 4 or 5 as defined by Society of Automotive Engineers J3016 standards, which do not require a human to drive. The AVs should also be able to drive safely when near pedestrians, bicycles, and other automobiles without the need for dedicated lanes or other accommodations, According to the RFP.

Multiple contractors may be picked for the job.

In order to operate throughout the day, the AVs must have sufficient battery power or quick charging infrastructure to hold multiple occupants at a time. The RFP also requests the vehicles to be equipped with dash-cams and cameras in the vehicle to monitor the passenger compartment.

AVs must feature controls for routing, scheduling, station stopping and dwell time. Valley Metro also asks for passenger boarding interface safety provisions to prevent passenger entrapment in vehicle doors. 

Contractors must share data on the number of passengers, average vehicle speeds, incidents and other elements with Valley Metro or a third party, the RFP stated.

Proposals are due June 1.



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