22 June 2022

Advancing autonomous shuttle capability in the U.S.

Yunex Traffic and partners to advance autonomous shuttle capability

  • Yunex Traffic today announced a successful effort to advance the capability of autonomous shuttles on the University of Florida’s Gainesville, Florida Campus.
  • Onboard Units (OBUs) installed on the shuttles will allow them to interact with Roadside Units (RSUs) mounted on traffic signal poles, providing them with valuable additional information to navigate intersections safely.
  • In a significant advancement over typical autonomous programs, shuttles in Gainesville are now able to make left and right turns, as well as stop and go in coordination with traffic signals.

Gainesville, Florida June 22, 2022 – Yunex Traffic, a global intelligent traffic systems leader, announced the successful integration of the company’s onboard and roadside units (OBUs and RSUs) into the University of Florida’s autonomous shuttle program. The initiative is part of a research project funded by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), called the Trapezium Project, and in Gainesville, will allow two autonomous Transdev EasyMile shuttles operating around the University of Florida Campus to observe and obey traffic signals.

Working in tandem with the University’s I-STREET Living Lab and Gainesville’s Regional Transit System, Yunex Traffic and its partners mounted RSUs on traffic signal poles or mast arms, allowing the shuttles to stop and go, and turn right or left in the normal flow of traffic. Iouri Nemirovski, Yunex Traffic’s Product Manager for the RSU2X, says the initiative is not only advancing autonomous transportation, but is also providing a vital service to students at the University of Florida.

“This is a tremendous example of smart city operations,” he said. “At Yunex Traffic, we believe technology should work for people and not the other way around. Giving students and faculty an efficient, safe and more environmentally friendly mobility option hits all of our pillars, and we’re very proud to be part of this effort.”

Autonomous shuttle programs typically operate on a closed loop and avoid traffic signals. Many use human drivers to navigate through signaled intersections. This collaboration, with Yunex Traffic’s technology at its core, opens new opportunities for autonomous shuttles and the riders who use them.

The autonomous shuttle program is an outgrowth of a Florida DOT funded research study to deploy 71 Yunex Traffic OBUs in University of Florida (UF) and City of Gainesville vehicles, all designed to interact with Yunex Traffic RSUs deployed in and near the UF campus. Yunex Traffic also provided its proprietary Sitraffic Concert™ Advanced Traffic Management System, and operational support necessary to conduct the study. Yunex Traffic subcontracted with Brandmotion, a leading road safety company to install the equipment.

Results of the study were universally positive. Drivers reported much greater situational awareness and a high interaction rate between their OBUs and RSUs throughout campus. Results were published in a FDOT funded research report titled, “Evaluation of the Gainesville Trapezium Connected Vehicle Signal Phasing and Timing (SPaT) Deployment”. The research team was led by Sanjay Ranka, Ph.D., professor at UF’s Department of Computer & Information Science & Engineering, Lily Elefteriadou, Ph.D., professor, and director of UFTI, and Pruthvi Manjunatha, Ph.D., I-STREET manager.

UF’s Dr. Sanjay Ranka said of the project, “Our long-term objective is to leverage big data analytics and artificial intelligence to use the information collected for both improving safety and traffic operations.”

That sentiment is echoed by Yunex Traffic’s Nemirovski. “With the advances in University of Florida’s autonomous shuttle capability and the community’s response to our on-board communication, Gainesville is setting a bar for university and mid-sized towns around the nation, and that’s exciting.”