Perrone Robotics Earns AV Shuttle Contract at University of Wisconsin-Madison

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August 19, 2021

Perrone Robotics, which develops fully autonomous vehicle technology and turnkey vehicle solutions for mobility, has announced it was awarded a contract by the University of Wisconsin-Madison to deliver an electric Low Speed Vehicle (LSV) shuttle integrated with Perrone’s TONY retrofit kit. The shuttle, nicknamed “The Badger”, is part of an effort to integrate autonomous vehicle shuttles into the public transportation system in Racine, Wisc.

The contract award includes deployment of the core TONY autonomous vehicle driverless system, software licensing, integration of a Polaris GEM LSV, and additional service provisions. The university’s Traffic Operations and Safety Laboratory (TOPS Lab), a research lab within the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, will use the vehicle on public and private roads for research, data collection and public engagement. Through a partnership with the city of Racine, Gateway Technical College and UW-Madison, the AV will be part of a larger initiative focused on bringing mobility options across Wisconsin.

The shuttle will operate on a fixed-route service on private and public roads surrounding the technical college campus, with plans to expand to a downtown Racine connector route and on-demand service during off-peak hours. Trained Racine Transit operators will man the AV shuttles during service to oversee operations, Perrone said. Researchers from the TOPS Lab will work alongside professionals in Racine’s public, private, and nonprofit sectors to develop and refine the technical elements of the AV shuttle deployment. TOPS Lab researchers will monitor and evaluate the safety and operation of the shuttle. Gateway Technical College will house the shuttle and incorporate it into education and training opportunities to “prepare the workforce for future employment opportunities,” as well as expand research, data collection, and public engagement.

“I am delighted to take the next steps in bringing autonomous public transport options to the City of Racine,” said Mayor Cory Mason. “Through our partnership with UW Madison and Gateway Technical College, the city has been thinking outside the box on how to bring smart transportation options to our residents. Now, with the help of Perrone Robotics, we will begin to test our ideas, not just in the real world, but in an urban environment and on city streets.”

“Leveraging the capabilities of Perrone’s AV systems, we’re excited to partner with the city of Racine and Gateway Technical College not only on a research initiative that will help advance the safety and efficacy of autonomous vehicles, but also on opportunities to educate students and the public on the benefits of these technologies in a smart, interconnected urban environment,” said David Noyce, TOPS Lab director, College of Engineering executive associate dean, and the Arthur F. Hawnn Professor in civil and environmental engineering at UW-Madison. “In the spirit of the Wisconsin Idea, this collaboration allows us to work together and share our knowledge in a ‘living laboratory’ as we usher in a new era of connected and automated vehicles.”

“Demonstrating the way automated transportation solutions can be harnessed efficiently alongside existing public transportation systems is an important step toward building smarter and safer cities,” said Paul Perrone, CEO of Perrone Robotics. “This partnership provides a great opportunity to showcase the capability of Perrone Robotics’ autonomous retrofit platform TONY, and its robotics software platform MAX, while improving access to transportation for the City of Racine and providing educational opportunities for students connected to this program.”

For more details on Perrone Robotics’ offerings, visit its website here.

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