Automated transit bus pilot program in the works for Michigan

Forty-foot-long automated buses could be wheeling around Michigan as part of a new pilot testing program being rolled out at sites around the country.

The program is through the National Automated Bus Consortium, a newly formed group of transportation agencies around the U.S. that includes the Michigan Department of Transportation and PlanetM, which is the mobility arm of the Michigan Economic Development Corp.

The group was formed by AECOM, a Los Angeles-based engineering consultation giant, which will administer the pilot program. The firm contacted MDOT and MEDC, and the agencies jumped at the chance to participate, according to Jean Ruestman, administrator, office of passenger transportation for MDOT.