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Dayton Engineer

Dayton Community Connector Looks to Replicate Success of the Flyer

By Morgan Brewster, marketing communications intern

Engineering students Ahmad Alzemi, Travis Brosnan, Evan Salmon, Alex Studnicka and Jennifer Welch used their senior design capstone project to work with DriveOhio, RTA and the city of Dayton on a proposal for a driverless bus route between the Wright Dunbar and the Oregon entertainment districts, which they hope repeats the success of The Flyer route between UD and downtown.

The students started the project last fall, in collaboration with the School of Engineering’s Innovation Center, by creating a route along the 3rd Street bridge, which connects the Wright Dunbar District with downtown.  The team then surveyed students from Sinclair Community College and the University of Dayton and residents and business owners from the Oregon and the Wright Dunbar districts to gauge the efficiency and probable impact of their project. 

The results from this survey indicated the driverless bus route would be especially helpful for students at Sinclair Community College and business owners throughout the Dayton area, giving them a new connection with the rest of the surrounding community. 

The team also investigated options regarding vehicle efficiency and operations to ensure the best solution. Battery-powered electric buses were found to be more cost efficient, safe, environmentally friendly and perform better than gasoline-powered buses. 

The team presented its final research findings to clients at the end of the spring 2020 semester. 

“It is great to see the steps DriveOhio, RTA, and the city are taking to connect the Dayton community,” said Studnicka, a senior mechanical engineering student. “We are grateful to help them out with this project.”

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