MSU Mobility Announces Winner of Autonomous Bus Naming Contest

June 12, 2024

EAST LANSING, Mich. – The votes are in for Michigan State University’s new full-size electric autonomous bus, and with help from MSU students and the public, the bus will be named SpartanXpress. 

To create excitement about the arrival of the new electric autonomous bus, which is slated to begin taking passengers on campus in the fall and is made possible through a partnership with ADASTEC and Vicinity Motor Corp., MSU Mobility hosted a two-phased bus naming contest. During the first phase of the contest, which launched in April, university students were asked to submit names that were catchy, creative, futuristic and/or uniquely MSU for consideration. A bus naming committee combed through the more than 240 submissions to determine a final four for the public to vote on during phase two. MSU students, faculty, stakeholders and the general public were able to weigh in and vote up to once per day for their favorite name between SpartanXpress, Spartanomous, Campus Cruiser and Spartabus.

The public chose SpartanXpress! Shelby Avey, a junior at MSU, submitted the name SpartanXpress and, as the winner of the contest, will receive one year of free Spin e-scooter rides on campus.

“It’s exciting to see so many students and members of the public get excited about mobility and naming our new autonomous bus,” said Judd Herzer, MSU Mobility Director. “On behalf of MSU Mobility, I extend my congratulations to Ms. Avey for submitting the winning name and a big thank you to Spin for sponsoring our grand prize. We hope to deploy more engaging and fun contests and activities like this in the future to build a stronger connection to all that mobility has to offer – both on our campus and off.”

The new name will be prominently displayed on the bus exterior once it’s wrapped.

“I’m so honored to be given this opportunity to be a part of the community here at MSU,” said Avey. “Looking forward to the bus’s arrival this upcoming semester.”

About the bus

The new bus is 28-feet long, features 22 seats and is Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS), Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Buy America-compliant. Additionally, the accessible bus will feature an automatic ramp and a fully automatic wheelchair securement station.

Advanced technology onboard includes six LiDAR, six radars, eight RGB cameras and a C-V2X (Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything) unit. The bus route will be announced at a later date and passengers will be accepted following a series of robust tests and certifications, including National Highway Traffic Safety Administration validation of the bus, route and infrastructure.

MSU has been partnered with ADASTEC, a leading software company specializing in automated driving software solutions, for several years. MSU first collaborated with ADASTEC during its initial autonomous bus deployment in 2021, in which it made history as the only full-size automated bus deployed on public roads in the U.S.

About MSU Mobility

MSU has transformed its 5,200-acre campus into a live, connected ecosystem to advance smart-vehicle technology and better understand the human element. With a range of urban, suburban, industrial and rural zones, featuring nearly 60 lane miles of roads, MSU Mobility’s controlled infrastructure – including its own green energy generation and distribution grid – and active campus make it ideal to test emerging technologies for new mobility solutions. Additionally, MSU offers a strong mobility talent pool, with more than 75% of engineering students remaining in the Midwest following graduation and nearly 60% being employed in Michigan.

Learn more about the university’s ecosystem approach and mobility at MSU.

Contact: Brittney Popa, Media Communications on behalf of MSU Mobility: (231) 675-1692,