US BUS MAKER GILLIG PURSUES 'DRIVERLESS' TECH

By: Fabian Cotter, Photography by: courtesy Gillig USA


FOLLOWING delivery of its 100th electric bus in partnership with Cummins, the California-based Gillig LLC has entered into a development agreement with RR.AI - developer of autonomous mobility solutions based in Maryland, USA - for next-gen advanced driver assistance on its buses in North America, it's been announced.

US BUS MAKER GILLIG PURSUES 'DRIVERLESS' TECH
The news about the automation partnership comes after Gillig recently celebrated the delivery of its 100th battery-electric bus in October last year, in partnership with Cummins.

A manufacturer of heavy-duty transit buses, Gillig's president and CEO Derek Maunus said of the advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and SAE Level 4 autonomous vehicle (AV) technology: "We see this partnership as a great fit for both our companies."

"The Gillig team is passionate about delivering transformative products and solutions that make transportation safe [and] efficient, and help eliminate roadway congestion. RR.AI is equally committed to those important goals.

"We’re excited to work with such a technology leader to bring advanced vehicle automation technologies to cities across America."

The companies will develop and test safety features such as automatic emergency braking, precision docking and bus yard automation in addition to blind-spot detection and pedestrian avoidance, Gillig explains.

The company states that while these are commonly used in passenger vehicles, many of these features have not been widely deployed thus far on heavy-duty commercial vehicles. Additionally, the companies will develop automated driving capabilities, which can be deployed for select in-service operations, or in the transit depot to help manage electric vehicle charging and reduce vehicle damage.

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ALL-ROUND SAFETY

RR.AI CEO Alberto Lacaze, said: "We believe the partnership with Gillig will improve the safety and well-being of drivers, pedestrians, and roadway users all while increasing efficiency for transit authorities and lowering costs."

"This partnership brings together leading innovators in the market today, a best-in-class OEM and best-in-class autonomy technology company."

While Gillig expects to implement AV and ADAS features across its product lines, the company says its zero-emission battery electric bus will be one of the first to benefit from the advanced technology and capability enhancements.

Gillig’s electric bus features what it says is industry-leading battery capacity, a Cummins powertrain, telematics and flexible inductive and overhead charging options.

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100TH E-BUS MILESTONE

The news about the automation partnership comes after Gillig recently celebrated the delivery of its 100th battery-electric bus in October last year, in partnership with Cummins, with the vehicle delivered to Metro Transit in St. Louis, Missouri - bringing the operator’s Gillig electric bus total to 10 units.

Both Gillig and Cummins have collaborated since 2019 to bring reliable zero-emissions electric buses to communities across the country, Gillig explains.

"We set out to do whatever we could to make sure we had the best electric bus in the industry, and that is what we’ve done," said Gillig president and CEO Derek Maunus.

"I couldn’t be prouder of the amount of hard work and energy that went into this accomplishment. This truly has been the most remarkable team effort."

More than 50 customers across the US are now operating Gillig’s battery-electric bus, or have orders for the vehicles, and there are 27,000 Gillig buses in service in total.

Gillig is currently booking new bus orders into 2023, it confirms.

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