‘The future is here’: Self-driving bus visits New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) - New Orleans is the latest stop on a multi-city, cross-country road trip presented by Transdev. The tour aims to give people across the country an introduction to the latest self-driving transit vehicle technology.

On Monday, Mayor Mitch Landrieu, council members and executives from Transdev introduced EZ10, a fully autonomous driverless shuttle that might be coming to New Orleans soon.

Transdev is a leader in providing mobility solutions, including the operation of Autonomous Vehicle (AV) passenger shuttles, and as the private operating partner of the RTA, Transdev will showcase how AV Shuttles can be part of an integrated regional transportation system in its ongoing Strategic Mobility Planning Process that will develop a 20-year vision of mobility.

During the test ride, the EZ10 demonstrates its capabilities to run without a driver. The shuttle fits about 12 people and can go up to 25 miles per hour, but averages 6 miles per hour per ride. It has 360-degree motion detectors, so if for instance, someone were to not be paying attention while crossing the street, the shuttle will break when it detects an obstacle in its path.

Dick Alexander, Vice President of Transdev, says the shuttles should be expected to be on the road by the end of this year, or as soon as it passes legislation and regulations.

"It's not going to replace the bus, but it's an alternative to the bus," said Alexander. "In other words, places that maybe larger buses don't fit, maybe in gated communities, or close knit areas, a shuttle like this can serve that area and offer a lot of different solutions,"

The mayor did not say when the EZ10 would be coming to New Orleans but mentioned it is a potential solution to airport transportation and public transportation around the convention center.