The pilot program will demonstrate the benefits of vehicle-assist and automation (VAA) applications for full-size public transit buses.
Beginning June 10, 2013, and continuing through December 6, 2013, LTD will test the Magnetic Assisted Guidance System (MAGS) during regular service hours. The MAGS system uses magnetic guidance technology, where magnetic rods are buried in the concrete in the EmX lane and a reader is mounted to the underside of the EmX vehicle. The reader tracks the magnets and guides the EmX vehicle in the exclusive bus lane, which is between Dads’ Gates and Walnut Stations.
The project’s primary goal is to provide safe and consistent guidance in dedicated bus lanes and precision docking at EmX stations. Controlling the gap between the vehicle and the station platform creates a safer customer environment, which enables operators to focus more on riders and traffic around the station. The new system also will help reduce damage to tires and the station platforms, which reduces maintenance costs for the District. The system, which has gone through extensive and rigorous testing during the last year, will now be tested during normal operational hours.
In 2009 LTD was selected to be part of a pilot demonstration project that uses a magnetically controlled vehicle guidance system. The research team testing the MAGS system includes the United States Department of Transportation (Federal Transit Administration, and Research and Innovative Technology Administration), the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans); AC Transit in Oakland, California; PATH Program at the University of California at Berkeley, and Lane Transit District. The total budget of the proposed project is $3.3M, including $1.9 M from the United States Department of Transportation and $1.4M in cost share from Caltrans.
Benefits of Bus Guidance
Improved vehicular safety in traffic
Better ride quality and improved passenger cabin safety
May permit narrower dedicated bus lanes
May reduce long-term pavement cost
Aids level boarding; and
Creates narrow horizontal gap at boarding platform to comply with ADA
2009: Two year demonstration project started in January
2009 - 2012: System refinement and integration
June 10, 2013 - December 6, 2013: public operational testing on a single EmX vehicle
The Magnetic Assisted Guidance Technology
(MAGS) EmX vehicle will be easily identifiable
with large MAGS logos on the exterior of the bus.
VEHICLE GUIDANCE TECHNOLOGY TESTING VIDEO
Objective: To demonstrate the technical feasibility of lateral vehicle guidance and how vehicle guidance can improve transit agency operational efficiency, performance and service quality.
The Team: United States Department of Transportation (Federal Transit Administration, and Research and Innovative Technology Administration), the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans); AC Transit in Oakland, California; PATH Program at the University of California at Berkeley, and Lane Transit District.
Budget: The total budget of the proposed project is $3.3M, including $1.9 M from the United States Department of Transportation and $1.4M in cost share from Caltrans.No LTD funds.
Technology: The vehicle guidance system deployed in Eugene will use the magnetic marker technology only. AC Transit will test the two mutually complementary technologies for vehicle guidance, magnetic marker sensing and Differential GPS combined with inertial sensors.
While vehicle guidance using magnetic markers is new to transit, the technology has been field tested for snowplow guidance and snowblower automated steering applications on the Donner Pass since 1998.Under these most severe operating conditions, the magnets have remained in place through multiple freeze/thaw cycles each year.
This project demonstrates a technology that is unique to transit in the U.S. at this time, and puts Oregon in a national leadership position.When applied more widely, it could provide benefits to transit operations throughout the country. The magnetic guidance for system has been demonstrated on a variety of experimental transit vehicles, but this will be its first application in revenue service and the first opportunity to determine its operational benefits in daily transit service
The lane assist and precision docking capabilities of vehicle guidance have been tried on a limited basis in a few European cities, but are not in use yet in the U.S.They have been developed and tested extensively on test tracks and in 2008 PATH performed a limited implementation on a public arterial boulevard in Oakland, CA during off-hours with an experimental bus without revenue passengers.The technology has advanced to the stage that it is now ready for daily public operation, and the LTD EmX service is considered the ideal environment for that initial assessment because of its variety of operating transitway.