Jan 10 (Reuters) - RR.AI, a unit of self-driving technology
startup Robotic Research, and U.S. bus maker GILLIG said on
Monday they will jointly develop driver assistance systems and
self-driving technology for commuter buses in the United States.
Making taxis autonomous has proved more difficult and
expensive to develop than expected, but investors have pumped
money into trucks and other commercial vehicles where automation
could be viable sooner.
RR.AI and GILLIG said they would jointly develop Level 4
autonomous vehicle technology for buses, which would allow a
vehicle to drive itself under certain circumstances, such as in
a depot, but most of the time a human driver would be needed.
They said the technology could protect drivers through
safety features, including automatic emergency braking,
precision docking, blind spot detection and pedestrian
"We believe the partnership with GILLIG will improve the
safety and wellbeing of drivers, pedestrians, and roadway users
all while increasing efficiency for transit authorities and
lowering costs," RR.AI Chief Executive Alberto Lacaze said in a
GILLIG said it expects to implement these technologies
across all its bus models, but will deploy them first in its
latest electric bus model.
The U.S. bus market is dominated by GILLIG, Canadian NFI
Group Inc's New Flyer unit, and Canada-based Novabus, a
unit of Volvo AB.
Robotic Research said last month it has raised $228 million
from investors including SoftBank to scale up RR.AI's
solutions for trucks, buses and logistics vehicles.
GILLIG's owner Henry Crown & Company participated in that
(Reporting By Nick Carey; editing by Barbara Lewis)