Volvo Group Venture Capital today announced a strategic investment in Optibus to advance the transition to electric buses and the digitalization of public transportation operations, the companies said in a press release. Optibus provides an artificial intelligence platform for transit scheduling and route planning.
“The collaboration with Optibus will contribute to our efforts to support customers with more efficient and sustainable transport solutions,” said Anna Westerberg, president of Volvo Buses, in a press release.
According to the companies, just 2% of transit buses in the U.S. market are electric, compared with 20% in Europe. As the bus market changes due to digitalization, electrification and new business models, cities and transit agencies will need more advanced software solutions, the companies said. Optibus software is used in more than 1,000 cities worldwide, according to the company’s website.
Abigail Levner, an Optibus spokesperson, said in an email that the investment will “help to strengthen our presence among electric bus operators” and “lead to more learnings about managing mixed and 100% electric fleets.” The companies are not disclosing the size of the investment at this time, she said.
In April, Optibus acquired Trillium, a provider of public transportation passenger information systems. That acquisition was aimed at helping transit agencies manage ongoing disruptions in bus and rail schedules due to the pandemic, labor shortages and changes in ridership, Amos Haggiag, co-founder and CEO of Optibus, said in a prior interview.
“Between Volvo, as a global original equipment manufacturer with decades of auto industry expertise, and Optibus, as an agile, quickly scaling software-as-a-service company, this relationship spurs the synergy needed to advance digitalization and more sustainable fleets,” Haggiag said in the press release.