Big bus news this week: Gillig, one of North America’s leading bus manufacturers, has teamed up with RR.AI, which develops autonomous driving systems.
The goal: The new partners will develop commuter buses with driver assistance systems and self-driving technology. Gillig was founded in 1890 to make horse-drawn carriages and has worked with major transit agencies in the United States ever since. A recent example: In May 2021, it announced a $ 44 million deal to deliver at least 44 electric buses to the Utah Transit Authority.
- The company has announced plans to roll out the new features on all of its buses, but its latest electric model will be the first in line for the upgrade.
We are going to get down to business
RR.AI is the business arm of Robotic Research, a robotics and autonomous driving company specializing in military technology. She is responsible for more than 80 “fully unmanned” trucks currently in service, according to the company.
- Gillig’s parent company, Henry Crown and Company, participated in Robotic Research’s $ 228 million Series A funding round, which was announced last month. Cue the strategic partnership.
Both companies are aiming for Level 4 range for new commuter buses, which means the technology can work independently in certain situations, such as driving at a bus station or transit depot. That’s a lot more range than Tesla’s Full Self-Driving, which is considered Level 2, or “Partial Self-Driving.”
As for the driving assistance systems, they will include functions such as “automatic emergency braking”. [and] Precision mooring… in addition to blind spot detection and pedestrian avoidance.