Mass Transit - 29

Let the Testing Begin

With the creation of the U2C Program, JTA set to
work testing possible AV candidates on its Test &
Learn Track with the goal to increase understanding of how the vehicles operate, their capabilities
and their limitations. The authority worked with
the city of Jacksonville to lease the unused roadway
and parking lot space adjacent to the TIAA Bank
Field where the Jaguars play football to test the AVs.
JTA CEO Nat Ford says an increased understanding of AVs will allow the authority to identify
necessary parameters and capabilities of the technology, while ensuring it will be serviceable and
maintainable going into the future.
" The test track really afforded us the ability to
upgrade our skillsets, our understanding of these
technologies, so that we were on an equal playing
field with the OEMs, " Ford said.
JTA began leasing vehicles from OEMs to test
them based on the spec sheets provided by the manufacturers. Initial testing included validating the
vehicles could reach the top speed and withstand
the maximum weights that were indicated.

" Part of the [initial testing] started out with just
socializing the technology, getting our hands on it,
touching it, feeling it, " explained Bernard Schmidt,
vice president of automation, JTA.
As the Test & Learn Program developed to create
an opportunity to test the maturation of the technology and AV expertise was brought in-house, the
authority expanded its testing beyond the spec sheet
and began to develop guidance for the industry regarding critical requirements needed for AVs within
the scope of public transit. To ensure vehicles could
function as proper transit vehicles, the authority
developed what it calls the Golden 20, along with
a more extensive test protocol, which is tailored to
the Jacksonville area and what is experienced as a
transit authority.
" The Golden 20 were the 20 critical requirements
for an autonomous shuttle or AV within public transit. It addressed everything from Buy America Compliant to here's the fundamental things we need the
vehicle to do, " Schmidt said.
With this in place, the authority began developing relationships with AV manufacturers to provide
guidance and feedback regarding vehicle modifications to the next generation. Schmidt explains this
became increasingly important as some companies
released the plans for the next models of AVs, yet
they still didn't meet the requirements the authority
had determined.
" We realized how much of a role we could play
advising and partnering and really leveraging this
testing program to say, here's what we're seeing out
of your vehicle and here's what it needs to perform
for us to bring it into our world within
the public domain and within public
transport, " Schmidt said.

OLLI 2.0 will
be tested at
FSCJ's Cecil
Center and
is the sixth
vehicle to
enter JTA's
Test & Learn
Program.
Images by JTA

NOVEMBER 2020 | MassTransitmag.com | Mass Transit |

29


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Mass Transit

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Mass Transit

Ad Index
Editor's Notebook: What's Next? Better Mobility
People & Places
New Ransomware Attacks Pose Costly Threat to Transit Agencies
2020 Transit Safety and Security Report
Planning the Right Zero-Emission Fleet Conversion from the Beginning
AVs Pave the Way to Future Mobility
A New Age for Streetcars
Products: In Focus - Shelters, Stops & Stations
Best Practices: Creating a Safer, More Secure Ride on Metro Transit in the St. Louis Region
Mass Transit - 1
Mass Transit - 2
Mass Transit - 3
Mass Transit - 4
Mass Transit - 5
Mass Transit - Ad Index
Mass Transit - 7
Mass Transit - Editor's Notebook: What's Next? Better Mobility
Mass Transit - 9
Mass Transit - People & Places
Mass Transit - 11
Mass Transit - 12
Mass Transit - 13
Mass Transit - New Ransomware Attacks Pose Costly Threat to Transit Agencies
Mass Transit - 15
Mass Transit - 16
Mass Transit - 17
Mass Transit - 18
Mass Transit - 19
Mass Transit - 2020 Transit Safety and Security Report
Mass Transit - 21
Mass Transit - 22
Mass Transit - 23
Mass Transit - Planning the Right Zero-Emission Fleet Conversion from the Beginning
Mass Transit - 25
Mass Transit - 26
Mass Transit - 27
Mass Transit - AVs Pave the Way to Future Mobility
Mass Transit - 29
Mass Transit - 30
Mass Transit - 31
Mass Transit - A New Age for Streetcars
Mass Transit - 33
Mass Transit - 34
Mass Transit - 35
Mass Transit - 36
Mass Transit - 37
Mass Transit - Products: In Focus - Shelters, Stops & Stations
Mass Transit - 39
Mass Transit - 40
Mass Transit - 41
Mass Transit - Best Practices: Creating a Safer, More Secure Ride on Metro Transit in the St. Louis Region
Mass Transit - 43
Mass Transit - 44
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