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Autonomous bus possibly coming to Texas A&M Corpus Christi

Posted at 9:18 PM, Mar 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-11 23:35:42-04

The Corpus Christi Regional Transit Authority expects to get estimates back this week on an autonomous bus it would like to operate at Texas A&M Corpus Christi in hopes of cutting down on traffic on the island campus.

“It would be a campus vehicle that would provide circulation for the students to get to class, get to their dorms, get to the parking lots, get to the things they need to do,” CCRTA Chief Executive Officer Jorge Cruz-Aedo said.

Cruz-Aedo said he wanted more information before guessing on how much the self-driving bus would cost, but he did say they’re looking at small vehicles, about the side of a car but taller. The bus will not have a driver, but CCRTA is considering a human attendant on board.

“Until we can ensure that the technology is 100%, we will have the attendant on board so that we have manual intervention should the unforeseen happen.”

Cruz-Aedo says that GPS technology and sensors will allow the bus to travel a specific route made up of existing campus roads without hitting other cars or students.

“Safety is paramount,” he said. “We will deploy when we have a vehicle that’s ready to use.”

This is not a far-off project. Cruz-Aedo would like to have the autonomous bus on campus possibly during the fall semester of this year.

Students were hard to find Monday, because it was the start of Spring Break for TAMUCC. The one student who did speak to Action 10 is excited at the prospect of having a driverless bus on campus.

“When you’re on campus and you have all this traffic it’s hard to get through crosswalks, so a self-driving bus would definitely help me get to class a lot faster and easier,” Freshman Billy Bowman said.