TARTA bringing autonomous vehicle program to Toledo next year

TARTA bringing autonomous vehicle program to Toledo next year

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - TARTA on Thursday announced plans to bring autonomous vehicles to Toledo next year as part of its Move Toledo program. 
The test program is to start next year and is coming via an $1.8 milion grant from the  Federal Highway Administration to test the autonomous buses in the city. 
TARTA secured the grant in collaboration with the Ohio Department of Transportation and the Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments. The grant is expected to fully fund the program; no local tax dollars will be used.

The route will take passengers along circuit yet to be chosen in Toledo and will have a driver present for safety issues. 
The test period is for three years.
TARTA CEO-General Manager Jim Gee said, "This grant from the Federal Highway Administration makes it possible for Toledo to be on the cutting edge of new technologies. TARTA is proud to play a role in the evolution of public transit on a national and even global scale, especially in a way that makes significant contributions to Northwest Ohio. It is an exciting time for TARTA and public transit in Toledo."


TARTA's autonomous vehicle pilot program was announced Thursday during the third "Technology Takes the Wheel" seminar at The University of Toledo. The free seminar was focused on self-driving buses as the future of public transportation and hosted by the UT College of Engineering and AAA Northwest Ohio. In addition to remarks from Gee, the event featured Chris Pauly, director of business development in North America for NAVYA, a manufacturer of autonomous vehicles; Lt. Col. (retired) John Tucker, sales specialist for Path Master Inc., a traffic technology provider; Dr. Eddie Chou, UT professor of civil and environmental engineering and director of the Transportation Systems Research Lab; and Dr. Bhuiyan Alam, associate professor in the UT Department of Geography and Planning.