Phoenix Motorcars and Easymile Collaborate to Deploy Delivery Trucks as Well as Autonomous Shuttle Buses

California based Phoenix Motorcars, which was recently acquired by SPI Energy Ltd. subsidiary EdisonFuture, and EasyMile, an industry leader in autonomous technology, announced the beginning of a partnership to jointly develop and deploy zero emission trucks as well as autonomous shuttle buses.

Phoenix Motorcars Easymile
EasyMile’s award-winning driverless software will be integrated into Phoenix’s ZEUS range of all-electric shuttle buses and trucks.

The news follows EasyMile’s inclusion in the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Accelerating Innovative Mobility (AIM) grant. EasyMile’s award-winning driverless software will be integrated into Phoenix’s ZEUS range of all-electric shuttle buses and trucks.

The EZ Zeus development on a Starcraft Allstar is also supported by the manufacturer Forest River Inc., and Creative Bus Sales, the nation’s largest bus dealer, will be offering the EZ Zeus to its nationwide customers.

Chairman and CEO of SPI Energy, Xiaofeng Peng, said:

Phoenix's third generation all-electric shuttle buses and trucks are an ideal product to automate, as they are widely used in many fixed route, short loop and low-speed applications. We are proud to be launching the first of its kind medium-duty fully autonomous shuttle in partnership with EasyMile, Forest River and Creative Bus Sales.

EasyMile will provide its proven driverless technology suite, including hardware and software, customized to best fit the requirements for the medium-duty vehicle platform.

Senior Vice President of EasyMile, Sharad Agarwal, said:

Autonomous shuttles and trucks can greatly enhance safety and efficiency, while having a positive impact on overall cost of operations. We have a strong pedigree in autonomous driving and are excited to be partnering on this project.

The first of its kind Class 4 EZ ZEUS will be in partnership with Houston Metro serving the Third Ward community as the first pilot location. This is expected to be the first Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS), Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and Buy America-compliant mid-size autonomous bus in the US. This deployment is partially funded through the Federal Transit Administration (FTA’s) Accelerating Innovative Mobility (AIM) grant.

President at Forest River Bus, a Berkshire Hathaway company, David Wright, said:

Starcraft has been the market leader, providing best in class shuttle buses for both public and private fleets. We are excited to be extending our partnership with Phoenix Motorcars for electric drivetrains to now include fully autonomous shuttles for our customers.

The EZ ZEUS shuttle bus will address the increasing interest in autonomous shuttle buses, particularly in the post COVID era.

Vice President & General Manager at Creative Bus Sales, TJ Matijevich, said:

As transit agencies look to restructure their routes and assets following the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, many large fleets are increasingly interested in viable autonomous solutions. At Creative, we pride ourselves in representing the best products and solutions available to our customers and we look forward to offering the autonomous EZ ZEUS product to customers nationwide.

This article was originally published by EasyMile.


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