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Self-driving bus at TAMU-CC no longer running; pending safety investigation

"The Surge" has been grounded at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
Posted at 7:20 PM, Mar 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-03 20:32:26-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — At the beginning of the semester, Texas A&M - Corpus Christi unveiled their new self-driving bus on campus. Here’s why it's no longer running.

Texas A&M Corpus Christi is hitting the brakes on its brand-new self-driving vehicle.

Almost exactly a month after they rolled out the autonomous bus on the TAMU-CC campus, it's being suspended for safety reasons.

Easy Mile the maker of ‘The Surge’, the self-driving shuttle, has stopped using all autonomous shuttles like this one across the entire country.

This comes after a passenger fell from their seat during a braking incident in Columbus, Ohio.

“The safety measures have to be there for something remote like this,” said Katlin Walden, a student at TAMU-CC.

Students say they enjoy having ‘The Surge’, but now they're more careful while going around campus since the self-driving bus is there.

“I drive my friend around to the same route that the bus takes across the crosswalk and I always kind of stay a further distance from other vehicles and especially that bus if I see it,” said Walden.

The Corpus Christi Regional Transportation Authority, which helped bring the shuttle to Corpus Christi, says it's waiting for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to investigate the incident.

The investigation will determine if ‘The Surge’ can return to campus and continue to shuttle students around.

“Most of that stuff they try to make sure they shut it down, even though it wasn't something that happened here, just to make sure it was going to be safe for everybody,” said Hunter Nail, student.

Easy Mile says they are working with “partners and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to be back in passenger service as soon as possible.”