MSU Autonomous Bus Route, Schedule and Complete Details

Click Here for Vehicle Location and Status

Students, faculty, staff and visitors can now ride the new electric autonomous bus on campus between the MSU Auditorium and the MSU Commuter Lot (#89) at the intersection of Farm Lane and Mt. Hope. The bus’s 2.5-mile route will run non-stop, roundtrip and is marked with bright green “autonomous bus stop” signage.

The new electric autonomous bus is made possible through a collaboration with the state of Michigan, bus manufacturer Karsan and ADASTEC, a Michigan-based company delivering advanced automated transportation platforms for full size commercial vehicles. It represents one of the largest electric autonomous transit vehicles to be deployed on U.S. roadways to date.

In preparation for transporting riders at MSU, extensive on-campus testing was completed and validation of the bus, route and infrastructure was granted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The 27-foot, 22 seater Karsan Autonomous e-ATAK bus complements MSU Mobility’s efforts to test, validate and research all areas of mobility via its connected ecosystem, featuring 8.1 square miles of contiguous urban, suburban, industrial and rural zones. Data that MSU will collect and analyze from the bus includes V2I (vehicle to infrastructure) communication technologies as well as experiential learning from persons with disabilities to inform future design considerations.

Bus safety

Autonomous vehicles are made to remove human error and are intended to offer a safer alternative to the regular driving experience. To prove the capabilities of the bus, MSU conducted extensive testing (more than 650+ tests!) and was awarded approval by NHTSA to proceed with the bus accepting riders on campus.

ADASTEC’s level four automation platform, flowride.ai, is packed with state-of-the-art sensor technologies integrated into the bus including 5 Ouster LiDARs, 8 RGB cameras, 2 FLIR thermal cameras, high precision global navigation satellite systems, automotive radar and all around ultrasonic sensors. Because of this, the bus can sense and identify pedestrians, cars, cyclists, crosswalks, traffic lights and more. Plus, its integrated thermal cameras focus on improving safety and properly detecting and categorizing everything that is ‘seen’. The intuitive technology built into the bus can autonomously and instantaneously perform tasks that were previously completed by a human driver, such as pulling into bus stops along the route, managing passengers getting on and off and navigating its way through traffic lights, roundabouts, busy intersections and more. Even in blind spots, motorcycles, pedestrians and other vehicles are visible to the e-ATAK and the technology remains fully functional day and night.

As an added safety measure at MSU, a human driver will be on the bus at all times ready to take control if needed. Additionally, autonomous mode will not be used during adverse weather conditions (e.g. rain, snow, fog). The bus will also be manually driven around roadwork zones.

Because the accuracy of the sensors can result in harsh braking in certain traffic scenarios, we require all passengers to remain seated at all times while the bus is in motion.

Get a glimpse at how the bus sensors work here.

Hours of operation and schedule hours for Fall Semester, effective Aug. 29

  • The bus will run Monday through Wednesday and Friday, 8:35 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. (The last departure from Lot 89 is 11:40 a.m.)
  • The bus will run on Thursday, from 8:35 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. (The last departure from Lot 89 is 4:40 p.m.)
  • Riders will be picked up approximately every 35 minutes from the MSU Commuter Lot (#89) Bus Stop #4 and MSU Auditorium Loop, look for the mobility.msu.edu green bus stop signs.

 

Fall 2022 Schedules

 

Departing from Lot 89

Fall 2022 depart Lot 89 (2)

 

 

Departing from Auditorium

Fall_2022_Auditorium

 

Please note, due to normal maintenance and targeted demonstrations, the bus will not be running on the following dates:

  • Nov. 1 - 30
  • Dec. 26 through Jan. 9

 

If for any reason the bus is not running, please see CATA’s Spartan Service bus schedule for an alternative ride.

Requirements:

  • There is no bus pass required to ride
  • Riders must stay seated until the bus comes to a complete stop

Adastec bus route

 

FAQs about the autonomous bus

Q: Will the bus be driving itself?

A: The bus offers Level 4 autonomy – meaning it can operate without any human interaction. However, as an added safety measure, a driver from ADASTEC’s Detroit office will be present onboard at all times, prepared to take control if needed.

 

Q: What types of technologies are integrated in the bus?

A: MSU’s new electric autonomous bus was developed and produced by Karsan, a bus manufacturer, and updated with ADASTEC’s advanced autonomous technologies. It has been integrated with a breadth of cutting-edge sensor, safety and mapping equipment through the ADASTEC Open Automated Bus Platform, named flowride.ai. Additionally, the cloud-based platform supports data sharing, mission control and fleet management operations.

 

Q: Does the bus have an accessibility ramp?

A: Yes, the bus is outfitted with a wheelchair ramp along with audio messaging for people with vision impairment.

 

Q: How fast does the bus travel?

A: The bus was traveling 15 mph at the start of its testing phase and will gradually increase to consistently traveling at 25 mph.

 

Q: Can passengers bring bikes on the bus?

A: No, passengers will not be able to bring their bikes on the autonomous bus.

 

Q: What should you do if you think you left something on the bus?

A: Check the Michigan State University campus-wide lost and found held at the Department of Public Safety & Security Office. Any items left on the bus (e.g. book, notebook, coat, gloves, backpack, keys, laptop, etc.) will be delivered to the Department of Public Safety & Security. The Department can be reached at 1120 Red Cedar Road, (517) 355-2221 or by the contact form via their website at police.msu.edu

 

For more information:

Autonomous Bus Fact Sheet

Autonomous Bus Press Release