Self-driving electric buses are here, and they’re cruising round Málaga

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This article was originally published by Christopher Carey on Today’s cities, the leading information platform on urban mobility and innovation, reaching an international audience of city leaders. For the latest updates, follow Cities Today on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Youtube, or subscribe to Cities Today News.

The Spanish city of Malaga has launched an autonomous electric bus service – the first project of its kind in Europe.

Traveling an eight-kilometer stretch of town six times a day, the 60-seat bus is equipped with sensors and cameras that use artificial intelligence to improve its decisions based on data recorded along the route.

There is a driver behind the wheel to take orders if necessary, as Spanish law currently does not allow vehicles to be driven without one.

A handful of European cities, including Copenhagen and Hamburg, have conducted trials with eight-seater driverless electric shuttles, but this is the first time a full-size bus has been used.

“The bus knows at all times where it is and what is around it,” said Rafael Durban Carmona, head of the southern division of the Spanish transport company Avanza.

It can also interact with traffic lights equipped with sensors that alert the bus when they turn red, Carmona told Agence France-Presse.

The project stems from the AutoMost pilot program and is funded by Spain Industrial technological development center (CDTI), an agency that aims to develop technologies for vehicle automation in urban and industrial transport applications.

[Read: How do you build a pet-friendly gadget? We asked experts and animal owners]

Avanza is working with 11 partners on the project, including the Irizar group, and has also cooperated with the Polytechnic University of Madrid, Together, CEIT-IK4 and the University of Vigo.

Singapore

In March 2019, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) and Volvo Buses launched the “ world’s first ” full size self-driving electric bus trials and last month Singapore’s first commercial driverless bus service was announced.

The service will cover two routes at Singapore Science Park 2 and Jurong Island during a three-month pilot project, during which data will be collected to assess the viability of the on-demand service as well as passenger safety and reliability. of service.

Singapore has been a key test bed in the development of driverless technology over the past five years.

In 2016, US software company nuTonomy (later acquired by Aptiv and Hyundai Motor Group) launched the world’s first driverless taxi trials in the city-state.


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Published March 10, 2021 – 14:13 UTC


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