New Jersey Transit seeks grant to test self-driving buses

Posted: Updated:

New Jersey Transit passengers may someday board buses without drivers.

The agency on Tuesday in Edison unveiled three self-driving shuttles that it hopes to test as part of a pilot program funded by a $950,000 Federal Transit Administration grant. The unveiling happened at the NJ Council on Special Transportation (COST) Expo in Edison.

“We do understand that this is a very different vehicle. There's no steering wheel and there's no tailpipe, and so part of our research agenda is really just to figure out how the people of New Jersey respond to this type of vehicle,” says NJ Transit program director Jack Dean.

The electric shuttles can ferry 15 passengers at speeds of up to 15 mph. They would first be tested on a closed section of Fort Monmouth before NJ Transit would seek permits to allow the vehicles to carry passengers on public roads within the fort's property.

NJ Transit says the self-driving shuttles can serve small area trips and feed fixed-route services.

The FTA is scheduled to announce grant recipients this winter.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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