School Bus Fleet

November 2014

A management & maintenance magazine for school transportation fleets

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22 S C H O O L B U S F L E E T • N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 4 gies evolve, the agency will continue to accelerate its push on innovative and effective solutions to reduce mo- tor vehicle crashes in the U.S., through its research, regulatory and consumer information programs. One of these, its "Signifcant and Seamless" initia- tive, promotes sensor-based collision avoidance technology. Romine says that UMTRI has been the test conductor site for a research project called Safety Pilot Model De- ployment, funded by the U.S. Depart- ment of Transportation and the largest v2v pilot in the world, with 2,800 ve- hicles and the world's largest test bed, an outftted infrastructure in the north- east quadrant in Ann Arbor. The pilot, which started in 2011 and concluded in August, supplied data to NHTSA, which evaluated the effec- tiveness of currently available auto- mated braking systems in avoiding or mitigating crashes and developed test procedures to evaluate the technolo- gies to assess their safety benefts. The institute recently broke ground on an off-roadway test facility de- signed specifcally for connected and automated vehicles. "It will look like a little downtown area with intersec- tions, obstacles and buildings and is being built specifcally to test connect- ed and automated vehicle technolo- gies in a safe environment," Romine says. Additionally, one year ago, the University of Michigan created the Mobility Transformation Center (MTC), a public-private research partnership that includes govern- ment and academic partners and vehicle manufacturers such as Ford, GM and Toyota. It will focus on v2v and automated technology and re- search, answering questions such as how the cars will interact with other cars as the technology is being de- veloped, researched and ultimately deployed. At this point, there are no research projects announced to test the technolo- gy on school buses, but the v2v pilot did include school buses that sent a signal scenarios by more than 80%. "That's bigger than seat belts, elec- tronic stability control and air bags," Belcher says. Connected vehicles receive a mes- sage if a vehicle is approaching, brakes suddenly or crosses into a lane in front of them and gives the driver an alert in time to respond and avoid an accident. The technology is based on cameras as opposed to radar so the driver doesn't have to see the obstacle in time to react. For example, if a bus is on a highway and there's a crash a few cars ahead but the driver can't see it or if there's fog, rain or snow, the car will receive an alert, helping it to avoid a pile-up. Providing an example specifc to school buses, Romine says if her car and the school bus that her son rides were equipped with a device send- ing the signals, she would get an alert while backing her car out of her drive- way that the bus was within 500 feet of her car, allowing her to stop and wait for the bus to unload students and con- tinue on its route. Additionally, vehicle-to-pedestri- an technology enables pedestrians' smart phones or aftermarket devices to send a signal to the driver of the bus that they are stepping out be- tween cars where the driver wouldn't normally see them. This was demon- strated by Qualcomm and Honda at the ITS World Congress in Detroit in September. V2v technology and vehicle-to-pe- destrian technology will be available through the aftermarket and the cell phone industry so older buses can get access to the technology, Belcher says, and will be deployed in cell phones through a dedicated short-range com- munication chip in the phone. The natural progression of vehi- cle-to-infrastructure technology, and the cornerstone of Google's self-driv- ing car, is v2v technology, Reed says. "Before you'll see a driverless truck, you'll frst see a connected convoy of trucks, maybe a driver-operated truck and trailer at the front, a driver-oper- ated truck and trailer in the rear and a driverless, automated truck and trailer in the middle, connected to the other vehicles, knowing when to slow down, when to speed up, when to turn, etc." Reed adds that IC Bus is looking into v2v and vehicle-to-infrastructure technologies and has an advanced en- gineering team working on many of these technologies. Research, deployment Based on research conducted by UMTRI, NHTSA plans to begin the rulemaking process, Romine says. NHTSA offcials say as these technolo- Ramped-up Vehicle Tech California recently began requiring special permits for driverless cars. Google has won 25 of the frst 29 being issued, and Audi will be the frst vehicle manufacturer to receive one of the permits.

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