EasyMile driverless electric bus to be on roads of Houston by end of 2021
EasyMile Inc. is the technology provider for a mid-size driverless and electric bus that will be on the roads in Houston by the end of 2021.
EZ Zeus will be the first Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS), Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and Buy America-compliant mid-size autonomous bus in the US.
“Autonomous public transportation will happen sooner than taxis and cars based on the reduced complexity of the routes. This grant facilitates the launch of the first mid-size autonomous vehicle that meets all the standards for safe road operation in the US. It will put the US and Houston Metro in the lead for the transition to autonomy,Sharad Agarwal, Senior Vice President of EasyMile Inc.
The news comes as Houston Metro was selected among projects to receive funding from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Accelerating Innovative Mobility (AIM) grant of nearly $1.5 million. The vehicle will be developed for use on both private and public roads at speeds of 12-15 mph in 12 months from launch date, with further operation for 12 months of testing.
The bus will serve Texas Southern University, the University of Houston, and Houston’s Third Ward community connecting to Metro buses and light rail.
EasyMile and Phoenix Motorcars have committed to developing this Class 4 Medium-Duty Zero-Emission Shuttle Bus with Level 4 Autonomy that aims to:
- Introduce autonomy in a variety of bus depot use cases and, ultimately, deploy on public roads;
- Provide invaluable initial feedback in the development of this industry;
- Leverage prior experience in launching EasyMile’s driverless technology
- Provide integration with Phoenix Motorcars’ industry-leading and proven Class 4 zero-emission drive system
- Support existing agency initiatives around improved safety and energy efficiency via innovative technologies; and
- As the inaugural class of AIM incubators, provide industry leadership in sharing project outcomes with the public transportation community.