The Four Main Reasons You Should Consider a Factory-Fitted Automated Bus Over a Retrofit

ADASTEC Corp., a pioneer in introducing factory-fitted solutions in the U.S. and Europe, emphasizes these advantages while ensuring transit agencies receive best-in-class, durable products tailored to their needs.

October 6, 2023

When deploying automated transit buses, one may consider the difference between working with a provider of a factory-fitted versus a retrofitted vehicle. Here are four reasons why a factory-fitted solution may be your best path forward for innovative, scalable, and efficient public transit solutions. 

Scalability. When deploying new buses, most transit agencies and operators are looking to replace five, ten, and sometimes an entire fleet of buses over several years. With a factory-fitted automated transit bus, transit agencies and operators order buses and work with the OEM on delivery date. In comparison, retrofitted vehicle providers may need help finding enough used/base vehicles to be transformed into automated transit buses, leading to long delays and ambiguous timeframes for when the vehicles will be delivered. It is also important to note that there is no specific agreement with the base vehicle producer, which means that the OEM can change the base vehicle model without prior permission. This may result in changes in the design and delivery times.

Warranty. The OEM warranty is one of the most important benefits of working with a vehicle provider that offers a factory-fitted solution. If anything is wrong with the bus, transit agencies and operators can contact the OEM and ask them for their support regarding maintenance and operations. The difficulty with retrofitted vehicles is that as soon as holes are drilled into a chassis,  the warranty from the OEM vanishes. This could result in significant costs if something needs to be fixed with the vehicle or the software and take the car out of operation. 

Design. When deploying automated transit buses, raising awareness and educating the public on the new technology is most important. Part of this process is ensuring that the bus looks like a regular public transit bus because– who would step foot into something that looks like a science project? By going the factory-fitted route, transit agencies, and operators can be sure that the automated bus looks like a regular transit bus with an innovative new design that merges the original “bus look” together with high-tech sensor technology. In addition, interior configurations, such as the number of wheelchair spaces and passenger seats, etc., can be defined by the customer depending on their needs. This is of the utmost importance since low floors, high ceilings, and kneeling functions contribute to much better accessibility and travel comfort.

Capacity, Range, and Durability. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that new electric transit buses come with better and improved technology to maximize the power and range of the vehicle. Because of new innovative designs, new transit buses outshine retrofitted cars in that regard. In addition, most transit buses have an average useful life of about 10-12 years (; depending on how old the retrofitted vehicle is, the cost of retrofitting the car may not justify the overall investment in the project due to the remaining short life span of the vehicle. 

Naturally, there are drawbacks to opting for a factory-installed solution, such as a longer time to market. Design modifications may take longer since they must be integrated into the production line. In addition, whenever there is a change, the new vehicle must go through all the necessary tests and comply with the requirements of the OEM. However, by using the factory-fitted solution, transit agencies and operators are guaranteed a best-in-class product that will last its entire lifetime and won’t encounter any service interruptions. The vehicle will also fit their needs and the needs of their customers and can be scaled to any number desired in their fleet. Is there something wrong with the vehicle? Then, pick up the phone and talk to the OEM or our team so we can immediately assist you with your needs.   

ADASTEC Corp. offers a factory-fitted automated transit bus solution designed to fit the needs of each customer. ADASTEC is the first company to introduce factory-fitted automated transit bus solutions in the U.S. and Europe. That also has several years of experience deploying full-sized automated transit buses around the globe. 

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Yasemin Us

She pursued a degree in Business Administration with a double major in Management Information Systems (MIS). With five years of deep-rooted experience in marketing, she now spearheads corporate communication and marketing initiatives as the lead at ADASTEC. Her unique blend of academic knowledge and practical expertise positions her as a vital asset to the company's outreach and branding endeavors.