Take a Ride Into the Future: METRO Unveils New Autonomous Shuttle and More Zero-Emissions Vehicles
METRO is no longer just looking toward the future of transportation; it's actively shaping it. This month, the Authority, joined by local leaders including Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, unveiled its all-new autonomous shuttle, FutureLink, and showcased its growing fleet of zero-emission electric vehicles. This marks another big leap forward in METRO's quest to become a leader in innovative and eco-friendly transportation.
"We believe that innovation and sustainability are not just responsibilities but opportunities to create a better tomorrow," said METRO Board Chair Sanjay Ramabhadran. "We are passionate about building a thriving, livable, and equitable future for the Houston region, and we are working hard to make it a reality for generations to come."
For Generations to Come: "We believe that innovation and sustainability are not just responsibilities but opportunities to create a better tomorrow," said METRO Board Chair Sanjay Ramabhadran.
METRO Chief Innovation Officer Kim Williams said FutureLink is more than just a transit vehicle. It's a glimpse into the future. As part of the second phase of the Autonomous Vehicle Pilot Program. The zero-emission shuttle — which seats up to 14 passengers and can accommodate two wheelchairs — will navigate city streets, providing residents with convenient first and last-mile connections between important destinations, including Texas Southern University and METRO's Eastwood Transit Center.
“FutureLink is an example of how technology can enhance accessibility and inclusivity in transportation,” said Williams. “Once deployed, it will be one of the first mid-size autonomous transit shuttles in the country."
The Authority also proudly displayed a battery-powered electric bus, part of its growing fleet of zero-emission vehicles and a vital component of METRO’s ambitious Climate Action Plan. The new additions represent METRO’s commitment to a greener future, reducing emissions and creating a healthier environment for the region’s residents.
Turner said METRO’s achievement represents the intersection of innovation and sustainability.
"METRO continues to pioneer change,” remarked Turner. “And we celebrate their commitment to advancing our city's vision for the future in which transportation is safe, equitable, and resilient."
Meet FutureLink: The autonomous, zero-emission shuttle — which seats up to 14 passengers and can accommodate two wheelchairs — will navigate city streets, providing residents with convenient first and last-mile connections.
Passengers on board METRO's FutureLink shuttle experience a demonstration of the vehicle's autonomous technology firsthand. Throughout the pilot program, an operator will always remain on board.
Funding for the project comes from the Federal Transit Administration's Accelerating Innovative Mobility program, demonstrating the national support for Houston's forward-thinking approach to transportation. Phase 2 of the pilot program will run through October 2024, with a final report expected in March 2025.
Stay in the loop! Check out METRO's website or social media pages for the latest updates on FutureLink and other innovative initiatives. METRO is working hard to pave the way for a greener tomorrow, one ride at a time!