The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) has launched an autonomous shuttle service at Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR).

This month-long pilot project marks the first time that an autonomous vehicle has operated on public roads in the state of New Jersey.

It is being conducted in partnership with STV and Perrone Robotics as part of a larger initiative to improve efficiency, reliability and safety across the Port Authority’s facilities.

Port Authority Tests Autonomous Shuttle at Newark Airport
Port Authority tests autonomous shuttle at Newark Airport

Through this pilot, it is hoped that autonomous vehicles could help deliver faster and more reliable connections between points on EWR’s campus, such as between the new Terminal A and the nearest Air Train station at the P2 parking facility.

Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole said:

Being the first to bring driverless vehicles to New Jersey roads is the latest example of the Port Authority pushing the envelope when it comes to keeping the region moving. The goal is always a streamlined, modern and more convenient journey. If new technology can help get us there, we’re willing to explore it.

The pilot involves a 14-passenger Green Power AV-Star shuttle retrofitted with autonomous driving technology from Perrone Robotics, including sensors, cameras and mapping functionalities.

The vehicle was first tested on a safety course within a closed parking lot at the airport with simulated car and pedestrian obstacles. It then commenced nighttime and daytime testing on airport roads.

Perrone Robotics CEO Paul Perrone said:

We are thrilled to mark this milestone for the state of New Jersey representing a historic moment as the first public road autonomous operation in the state. This FMVSS-compliant, zero-emissions all-electric mini-bus has been designed to operate autonomously at posted roadway speeds, offering a sustainable and efficient solution for the future of mobility. This is just the beginning, and we're excited about the potential this holds for reshaping the transportation landscape.

This pilot follows earlier tests of autonomous technologies at PANYNJ airports. For example, autonomous platooned vehicles were trialled on closed roads at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in 2022 and earlier this year.


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