A driverless shuttle truck on the road at Newark Airport

Public works

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey today held a demonstration of a driverless shuttle truck operating at Newark Liberty International Airport. The pilot project marks the first time an autonomous vehicle will operate on public roads in New Jersey as the Port Authority continues to test new technology to improve efficiency, reliability and safety across its facilities.

The month-long pilot project is being implemented in partnership with STV and Perrone Robotics. The 14-passenger Green Power AV-Star shuttle has been updated with self-driving technology from Perrone Robotics, including sensors, cameras and mapping functions. It was first tested in a safety course that included simulated obstacles for cars and pedestrians inside an enclosed airport parking lot. It then moved on to night testing on airport roads between the airport’s P2 air train/car park facility and the new Terminal A, navigating access roads, complex merges and multiple traffic lights. The shuttle was also tested in mixed traffic during daylight hours.

Throughout the testing period, the bus did not transport passengers and always traveled at a maximum speed of 35 mph with a safe driver on board. In preparation for the pilot project, the Port Authority approved a mandatory safety plan from all participating companies that focused on safety features, on-board safety driver responsibility and on operational coordination between the pilot project team, the independent shuttle company, and the airport.

The pilot program is being implemented through the Port Authority’s Innovation Center, which is a new collaborative initiative for employees from various departments and specializations to test cutting-edge products or technology. The Newark pilot is the latest iteration of other autonomous vehicle tests at the agency’s airports, two of which focused on the safe use of autonomous vehicles on closed roads at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in 2022 and earlier this year.

“We are thrilled to celebrate this important event for the state of New Jersey, which represents a historic moment as the first self-driving operation on public roads in the state,” said Paul Perrone, CEO of Perrone Robotics. “This FMVSS-compliant, zero-emission, all-electric minibus is designed to operate autonomously at posted road speeds, providing a sustainable and efficient solution for the future of mobility. This is just the beginning, and we are excited about the potential this holds in reshaping the transportation landscape.”

“Being the first to bring self-driving vehicles to New Jersey’s roads is the latest example of the Port Authority pushing the envelope when it comes to keeping the region moving,” said Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole. “The goal is always a simplified, modern and more convenient journey. If new technology can help us get there, we are willing to explore it.”

“For more than a hundred years, the Port Authority has been defined by technological and engineering breakthroughs, and we are now putting the computerized pedal to the metal,” said Rick Cotton, Port Authority Executive Director. “Innovation must be a key pillar in leveraging 21st century technology to provide the high-quality public services the region deserves.”

The pilot project was organized in collaboration with the New Jersey Governor’s Office, the New Jersey Department of Transportation, and the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, with additional participation from NJ TRANSIT, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, and local municipalities including Newark and Jersey. city.

The Port Authority also tested self-driving technology on furnished passenger buses last summer to travel faster through the Lincoln Tunnel’s exclusive bus lane, with the goal of leveraging emerging technology to improve speed, efficiency and reliability.

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