VTA debuts automated shuttle equipped with accessibility features in partnership with Prospect Silicon Valley and Local Motors
Prospect Silicon Valley is delighted to announce our partnership with the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) and Local Motors on developing an automated shuttle with accessibility features to serve transit users with disabilities.
The project is among the first of the nation’s first autonomous vehicle project to focus entirely on accessibility. The VTA will be providing aVTAr (autonomous VTA ride) service to passengers with the Local Motors Olli Shuttle. The project is anchored by the development of three new features integrated to the Olli 2.0 automated shuttle: a Smarter AI™ Gateway that applies precision AI models to Olli’s internal and external cameras to notify Olli when a passenger is using a mobility device, an automated wheelchair ramp developed by BraunAbility, and a ride-hailing application that allows mobility device users to customize their ride preferences. Partners Smarter AI, Braunability, and Liftango are providing the respective core technology and capabilities for the project.
The Project includes testing activities conducted at Prospect Silicon Valley’s demonstration center and the Veterans Administration Hospital (VA Hospital) in Palo Alto, and an eventual pilot deployment at the VA Hospital. Prospect Silicon Valley’s role in the project is to coordinate on operations and user testing, supporting on project partner coordination and overall project documentation.
This video produced by VTA and the project partners shows Olli’s ability to serve a variety of mobility device users.
“The Valley Transportation Authority prioritizes equity in the transit services we provide. This automated shuttle can be a game-changer to protect the independence of those who cannot use fixed-route transit service,” said Gary Miskell, VTA’s Chief Innovation Officer. “Not only will riders experience the benefits of accessible transportation, but we hope more transit agencies will begin to prioritize and adopt similar solutions.”
Other VTA partners in this venture are Robotic Research, Metropolitan Transportation Commission, and the Mineta Institute of Transportation.
Prospect Silicon Valley is dedicated to fostering technology advancement in an evolving sustainability landscape. We represent an ecosystem of corporate, startup, government and academic partners that together drive new solutions forward. We produce market-ready startups, launch innovative pilots, and establish meaningful and productive relationships. Our work brings market insight, development resources, and connection to partners and funders in areas such as mobility, buildings, and energy.
Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) is an independent special district responsible for bus, light rail and paratransit operations; and also serves as the county’s congestion management agency.
About Local Motors
Local Motors designs, manufactures, and deploys next-generation vehicles. Founded in 2007 with a belief in open collaboration, Local Motors began low-volume vehicle manufacturing of open-source designs utilizing a microfactory model. Since its inception, Local Motors has debuted no less than three world firsts; the world’s first co-created vehicle, the world’s first 3D-printed car, and the world’s first co-created, autonomous, electric vehicle, Olli. They believe that Olli is the answer to a sustainable, accessible mobility solution for all.
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