Ann Arbor, MI. – In a dynamic collaboration that signifies a shared commitment to the future of transportation, ADASTEC, a leading software company specializing in SAE Level-4 automated driving software solutions, and Vicinity Motor Corp. (Vicinity), a key OEM of electric and clean-energy vehicles, have joined forces to deploy the Vicinity Autonomous Lightning E.V. bus to Michigan State University (MSU).
ADASTEC's groundbreaking journey at MSU commenced in August 2021 with the initiation of testing for ADASTEC’s SAE Level-4 automated driving software platform. Notably, in April 2022, ADASTEC officially launched passenger-carrying operations, making history as the one and only full-size automated bus deployed on public roads in the U.S. to transport passengers within the MSU community. Over the course of this pioneering partnership, which concluded in May 2023, the autonomous bus successfully completed more than 1000 trips along a 4.6-mile route equipped with Signal Phase and Timing (SPaT) technology, consistently maintaining an average speed of 20 mph and a maximum speed of 25 mph. This extensive deployment phase included over 40 roundtrips per week, accumulating numerous operating hours while serving a significant number of students and faculty members across campus. This outstanding performance, coupled with ADASTEC’s unwavering commitment to advancing shared and connected transportation for enhanced rider comfort and energy efficiency, sets the stage for the future of campus transit.
Adam Lawver, Director of Campus Services at Michigan State University, enthusiastically expresses his thoughts: “ The partnership between ADASTEC and MSU’s Infrastructure, Planning, and Facilities team has created the opportunity to learn and assess the performance of mobility infrastructure assets MSU installed to advance the operational deployment of the automated bus on MSU’s East Lansing campus. It is exciting to continue this important work for not only improving the MSU campus mobility infrastructure, but to help other entities learn from our deployment, so they can build upon and advance to further stages of their respective mobility efforts. “
Building on the valuable experience ADASTEC gained during its successful two-year deployment at Michigan State University, the next phase of this transformative partnership is now thrillingly announced. In alignment with ADASTEC's commitment to providing accessible and sustainable transit solutions, they are integrating Vicinity Motor Corp.’s FMVSS, ADA, and Buy America-compliant buses with ADASTEC Corp.’s SAE Level-4 automated driving software platform. The autonomous version, powered by ADASTEC technology, is planning to debut in the 2nd quarter of 2024 and set a benchmark as the first of its kind in North America. Notably, this advanced bus will prioritize accessibility, featuring an automatic ramp and a fully automatic wheelchair securement station to enhance mobility for all passengers.
Cemre Kavvasoglu, North America Product Management Director of ADASTEC, expressed the profound connection between ADASTEC, MSU, and Vicinity Motor Corp. "Our partnership with Michigan State University goes beyond just a testing ground; it's a living lab for mobility and a true home for us. This partnership signifies a long-term commitment and a strengthening of our relationship. FMVSS, ADA, and Buy America-compliant buses from Vicinity Motor Corp. will set new standards in campus transit."
Dr. Ali, Chief Executive Officer of ADASTEC, "ADASTEC, in partnership with Michigan State University since August 2021, has taken its mission to redefine transportation through SAE Level-4 automated technology to the next level with Vicinity Motor Corporation. This collaboration introduces FMVSS, ADA, and Buy America-compliant automated buses to the dynamic U.S. market, leveraging our global deployment experience. This journey symbolizes our unwavering commitment to innovation and its contribution to the evolution of mobility solutions within the MSU ecosystem."
With its expansive, 5,200-acre campus transformed into a connected ecosystem for smart-vehicle technology, MSU has been a significant force in advancing the understanding of mobility solutions.
Judd Herzer, Mobility Director at Michigan State University: “Our very successful partnership with ADASTEC has contributed greatly to Michigan State University’s status as a leading mobility research institution,” said MSU Mobility Director Judd Herzer. “The level of professionalism and technical expertise at ADASTEC gives us confidence in our shared vision for the future of ADAS technologies and transit services.”
Satish Udpa, University Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, remarked, "Our partnership with ADASTEC has led to many firsts, including the first deployment of a large, automated bus service in the country. Our journey together has led to many breakthroughs in technical, social, legal, and business aspects of this new and exciting technology."
As ADASTEC continues to work with MSU and Vicinity Motor Corp., it focuses on increasing accessibility, sustainability, and innovation in campus transportation. This ongoing partnership will deliver groundbreaking results, setting new standards in the world of smart mobility.
Brent Phillips, Sr. Director of Sales of Vicinity., shared his perspective on this partnership. Mr. Phillips stated, 'Our collaboration with ADASTEC and Michigan State University is not only exciting for Vicinity, but it also marks a new era in public transportation solutions for the United States. We are privileged to lead the industry by delivering the first fully Buy America and FMVSS-compliant low-floor bus, setting the standard for accessibility and safety."
William Trainer, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Vicinity, points out, "This partnership emphasizes our shared commitment to industry leadership and our dedication to delivering automated solutions, including our exciting work with Michigan State University. ADASTEC's extensive experience in the SAE Level-4 automated driving software platform perfectly complements our capabilities, setting the stage for leading advancements in this transformative field, with MSU playing a key role in our collective journey."
About MSU Mobility:
MSU has transformed its 5,200-acre campus into a live, connected ecosystem to advance smart-vehicle technology and better understand the human element. With a range of urban, suburban, industrial, and rural zones featuring nearly 60 lane miles of roads, MSU’s controlled infrastructure and active campus make it ideal to test emerging technologies for new mobility solutions.
Spartan Mobility Village is home to MSU’s mobility labs, where roadways and parking lots can be closed for testing of new technologies. In the future, the campus, which includes a number of buildings and other structures, will be used to develop sensing technologies that can deal with radar clutter typically generated in suburban and urban environments.
To learn more about mobility at MSU and the university’s ecosystem approach, visit mobility.msu.edu.
About ADASTEC Corp.:
ADASTEC Corp. is a pioneering software company dedicated to advancing autonomous and connected public transportation vehicles. Leveraging its proprietary software platform, flowride.ai, and sensor stack, ADASTEC enables electric public transit buses to achieve SAE Level 4 autonomy. With a global presence, ADASTEC collaborates with bus OEMs worldwide, with deployments in the U.S., Europe, Asia, and Australia/Oceania. The company is headquartered in Michigan, USA, with additional operations in Istanbul, Turkey, as well as offices in Brabant, the Netherlands, and Stockholm, Sweden. For more information, please visit www.adastec.com.
About Vicinity Motor Corp.
Vicinity Motor Corp. (NASDAQ: VEV)(TSXV:VMC) ("VMC") is a North American supplier of electric vehicles for both public and commercial enterprise use. The Company leverages a dealer network and close relationships with world-class manufacturing partners to supply its flagship electric, CNG and clean-diesel Vicinity buses, as well as the VMC 1200 electric truck to the transit and industrial markets. For more information, please visit www.vicinitymotorcorp.com.
ADASTEC Media Contact:
Corporate Communication and Marketing Lead
+1 (989) 493-4723
Vicinity Company Contact:
VP Corporate Development