When will autonomous vehicles become an integral part of our lives? For some, fully automated driving appears to be a vision of the future, while others believe that it could be this far in just a few years. Either way, certain means of transport have a high potential for automation, including buses that travel the same routes every day.
This has already been demonstrated by numerous pilot projects in the past. In Copenhagen and in Hamburg’s HafenCity, for example, autonomous buses with up to space for up to 8 people have already made their rounds. Regular city buses (with approximately 07 meters in length) have not yet been tested in Europe.
That has now changed. An autonomous solo bus has recently started making its rounds in the Spanish city of Málaga. The eight-kilometer route is served by the electrically powered bus six times a day, per bus find 60 people one seat. Due to the legal framework, there is still a driver behind the wheel who can intervene in an emergency.
The bus is part of a networked system. In this way, the vehicle receives an indication of the status of the respective traffic light before crossings. Additional sensors keep an overview at all times of where and at what speed the bus is traveling. The project is funded, among others, by the Spanish Center for Industrial Technological Development.
Málaga follows Singapore, which already has several in the year 2019 has sent autonomous Volvo buses onto the streets. These are currently on two routes, after 3 months further results should be consolidated and acceptance examined.
It remains exciting in the field of autonomous vehicles. There is unbelievable potential for automation, especially with buses and trains, and it is a shame that this is still used far too rarely. But I also expect great progress in the future in terms of individual mobility. But everyone has to work together: companies, manufacturers and ultimately also politicians.
Via Cities Today